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Shares of 3M Company (MMM - Analyst Report) hit a 52-week high of $130.78 during yesterday’s trading session. However, the stock closed the session at $130.05, which reflects a solid year-to-date return of 39.6%. The average trading volume for last three months aggregated 2.3 million shares.

Despite its strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock still has enough fundamentals that may further drive the stock upward. Its strong estimate revisions over the last 30 days and long-term earnings growth of 13.6 % for 2013 are some catalysts driving the stock.

Growth Drivers

Impressive third-quarter 2013 results that comprised higher sales across its businesses, top-line growth and new product launches were the primary driving factors for 3M.

On Oct 24, 3M reported third quarter net income of $1,230 million or $1.78 per share compared with $1,161 million or $1.65 a share in the year-earlier quarter. The reported earnings beat the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.76.
 
The company has been making efforts to reposition its portfolio by divesting assets that no longer fit its corporate strategy and instead make investments which are more in tune with the strategy. We also remain encouraged by the record top-line growth of the company and expect it to continue its bull run in the coming quarters.

In addition, the company maintains a sound and flexible balance sheet with ample liquidity that enables it to capitalize on potential acquisition opportunities to fuel its top-line growth.

Estimate Revisions

Over the last 30 days, 4 out of 12 estimates for 2013 have been revised upward and 3 estimates were revised lower, which led to a 0.1% drop in the Zacks Consensus Estimate to $6.70 per share. For 2014, 4 out of 14 estimates moved upward, helping the Zacks Consensus Estimate advance 0.3% to $7.40 per share.

Other Stocks to Consider

Other stocks that look promising and are worth a look now include Hutchison Whampoa Limited (HUWHY), ITT Corporation (ITT - Analyst Report) and Tyco International Ltd (TYC - Analyst Report), each having a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
 

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