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3M (MMM) to Gain From End-Market Strength, Risks Persist

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3M Company (MMM - Free Report) stands to gain from its presence in multiple end markets, which allows it to neutralize risks associated with a single market with strength across others. Strength across the company’s general industrial, food safety, advanced materials, oral care, home cleaning and home improvement end markets will likely drive its performance in the quarters ahead.

The company is well-positioned to reap benefits from a solid portfolio of products, focus on innovation and investments in growth opportunities. Its household products like Nexcare, Post-it, Scotch, Scotch-Brite and Scotchgard are market leaders in their categories. Also, its plan to boost its marketing capabilities by investing in global programs using digital platforms and available data, bodes well.

Its policy of rewarding shareholders handsomely through dividend payments and share buybacks will work in its favor. In third-quarter 2021, MMM paid out dividends worth $856 million and repurchased shares worth $527 million. It also increased the quarterly dividend rate by 1% in February 2021.

Despite strength in end markets, the pandemic-related uncertainties persist. In the third quarter, organic sales generated from disposable respirators declined 15% sequentially. In the fourth quarter of 2021, demand for 3M Company’s disposable respirators is predicted to have declined by $25-$75 million on a sequential basis.

The company’s high debt profile poses a concern. Exiting third-quarter 2021, its long-term debt balance remained high at $16,193 million. In the third quarter, the company’s interest expenses (net of interest income) totaled $111 million. Any further increase in debt levels can raise its financial obligations.

In the past three months, this Zacks Rank #3 (Hold) stock has gained 0.9% against the industry’s decline of 2.9%.

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Key Picks

Some better-ranked companies are discussed below.

Helios Technologies, Inc. (HLIO - Free Report) presently sports a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank stocks here. Its earnings surprise in the last four quarters was 37.54%, on average.

In the past 60 days, Helios’ earnings estimates have increased 7.9% for 2022. Its shares have gained 26.7% in the past three months.

Danaher Corporation (DHR - Free Report) presently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Its earnings surprise in the last four quarters was 24.05%, on average.

In the past 60 days, Danaher’s earnings estimates have increased 0.5% for 2022. Its shares have gained 10.2% in the past three months.

ITT Inc. (ITT - Free Report) presently carries a Zacks Rank #2. Its earnings surprise in the last four quarters was 10.63%, on average.

ITT’s earnings estimates have increased 1.8% for 2022 in the past 60 days. Its shares have gained 18.5% in the past three months.

In-Depth Zacks Research for the Tickers Above

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3M Company (MMM) - free report >>

Danaher Corporation (DHR) - free report >>

ITT Inc. (ITT) - free report >>

Helios Technologies, Inc (HLIO) - free report >>

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