- Organic local-currency sales growth of 3.3 percent
- Positive organic local-currency growth in all business groups and geographic areas
- Operating income margins of 22.8 percent, up 0.9 percentage points year-on-year
- Returned $1.5 billion to shareholders via dividends and gross share repurchases
- Increased first-quarter per-share dividend by 20 percent
- Announced acquisition of Polypore’s Separations Media business for $1.0 billion
27 April 2015: 3M (NYSE: MMM) today reported first-quarter earnings of $1.85 per share, an increase of 3.4 percent versus the first quarter of 2014. Sales declined 3.2 percent year-on-year to $7.6 billion. Organic local-currency sales grew 3.3 percent and foreign currency translation reduced sales by 6.5 percent year-on-year.
Operating income was $1.7 billion and operating income margins for the quarter were 22.8 percent, up 0.9 percentage points year-on-year. First-quarter net income was $1.2 billionand the company converted 66 percent of net income to free cash flow.
3M paid $652 million in cash dividends to shareholders as the company increased its first-quarter per-share dividend by 20 percent. Also, the company repurchased $886 million of its own shares during the quarter.
Organic local-currency sales growth was 5.8 percent in Electronics and Energy, 4.1 percent in Safety and Graphics, 3.0 percent in Health Care, 2.7 percent in Industrial and 2.1 percent in Consumer. On a geographic basis, organic local-currency sales grew 5.6 percent in Asia Pacific, 3.6 percent in Latin America/Canada, 3.1 percent in the U.S. and 0.3 percent in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa).
“We are executing well against a more challenging economic backdrop in early 2015,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “The stronger U.S. dollar negatively impacted sales and earnings in the first quarter, and global economic growth was mixed. Despite these near-term challenges, we grew organically in all business groups and all geographic areas, and expanded operating margins by nearly a full percentage point.”
Thulin continued, “We also continue to invest for long-term success through research and development, commercialization and acquisitions. In February, we announced plans to acquire Polypore’s Separations Media business for $1.0 billion, which will enhance our existing filtration platform and help generate new growth opportunities across the company.”
The company noted that foreign currency impacts reduced first-quarter pre-tax earnings by approximately $90 million or the equivalent of $0.10 per share. For 2015 in total, 3M now expects foreign currency impacts to reduce earnings by $0.35 to $0.40 per share versus a prior expectation of negative $0.20 per share.
In light of the stronger U.S. dollar, 3M updated its 2015 financial expectations. The company now expects earnings to be in the range of $7.80 to $8.10 per share versus $8.00 to $8.30per share previously. Foreign currency translation is expected to reduce 2015 sales by 6 to 7 percent versus a previous expected reduction of 4 to 5 percent. 3M also estimates its full-year tax rate will be in the range of 28.5 to 29.5 percent versus a previous forecast of 28 to 29 percent.
For the full year, 3M maintained its forecast for organic local-currency sales growth in the range of 3 to 6 percent. The company also affirmed its expectation of 90 to 100 percent free cash flow conversion.