Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) from a sell rating to a hold rating in a research report report published on Wednesday morning.

According to Zacks, “Over the past month, 3M's shares have outperformed the industry. The company stands to gain from its innovation efforts, solid household product’s demand, healthy liquidity position and portfolio restructuring moves. Further, it remains committed to rewarding shareholders handsomely. However, over the past month, the stock looks overvalued compared to its industry. 3M reported weaker-than-expected third-quarter 2018 results. Inflation in prices of major inputs and rising interest expenses remain concerns for the company, posing threats to near-term profitability. Additionally, stiff competition from local players remains another  cause of worry for 3M. Over the past 7 days, Zacks Consensus Estimate for the company’s earnings has remained unchanged for both 2018 and 2019.”

A number of other equities research analysts have also recently commented on MMM. Deutsche Bank lifted their target price on 3M from $206.00 to $210.00 and gave the stock a hold rating in a research note on Friday, November 16th. Citigroup lowered their target price on 3M from $251.00 to $228.00 and set a buy rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Barclays lowered their target price on 3M from $195.00 to $190.00 and set an underweight rating on the stock in a research note on Monday, November 19th. Credit Suisse Group began coverage on 3M in a research note on Friday, October 12th. They set an outperform rating and a $228.00 target price on the stock. Finally, UBS Group lowered their target price on 3M from $220.00 to $211.00 and set a hold rating on the stock in a research note on Wednesday, October 24th. Two equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have given a hold rating, six have assigned a buy rating and one has issued a strong buy rating to the stock. The stock presently has an average rating of Hold and a consensus target price of $225.16.

Shares of NYSE MMM traded down $0.33 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $201.87. 58,928 shares of the company’s stock were exchanged, compared to its average volume of 2,308,546. The stock has a market capitalization of $117.74 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.97, a PEG ratio of 2.00 and a beta of 1.18. 3M has a 52 week low of $181.98 and a 52 week high of $259.77. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 1.31, a current ratio of 1.97 and a quick ratio of 1.36.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last released its earnings results on Tuesday, October 23rd. The conglomerate reported $2.58 EPS for the quarter, missing the Zacks’ consensus estimate of $2.70 by ($0.12). The business had revenue of $8.15 billion for the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $8.41 billion. 3M had a return on equity of 54.60% and a net margin of 13.79%. The company’s revenue for the quarter was down .2% on a year-over-year basis. During the same quarter in the previous year, the firm earned $2.33 earnings per share. Research analysts expect that 3M will post 9.95 EPS for the current fiscal year.

3M announced that its Board of Directors has initiated a share buyback plan on Tuesday, November 13th that permits the company to repurchase $10.00 billion in outstanding shares. This repurchase authorization permits the conglomerate to repurchase up to 8.7% of its stock through open market purchases. Stock repurchase plans are generally a sign that the company’s board believes its stock is undervalued.

The company also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Wednesday, December 12th. Investors of record on Friday, November 23rd will be paid a $1.36 dividend. This represents a $5.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.69%. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 21st. 3M’s dividend payout ratio is currently 59.32%.

In related news, insider Eric D. Hammes sold 1,272 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Monday, September 10th. The stock was sold at an average price of $216.00, for a total value of $274,752.00. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 5,634 shares in the company, valued at approximately $1,216,944. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is available at this hyperlink. Also, Director Gregory R. Page acquired 1,000 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, October 26th. The stock was purchased at an average price of $184.50 per share, for a total transaction of $184,500.00. Following the completion of the purchase, the director now directly owns 1,500 shares in the company, valued at approximately $276,750. The disclosure for this purchase can be found here. Insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

Hedge funds have recently bought and sold shares of the business. Fundsmith Equity Fund L.P. purchased a new position in 3M during the 2nd quarter valued at about $668,488,000. Holderness Investments Co. grew its holdings in 3M by 7.3% during the 2nd quarter. Holderness Investments Co. now owns 4,350 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $856,000 after buying an additional 295 shares in the last quarter. CWH Capital Management Inc. purchased a new position in 3M during the 2nd quarter valued at about $220,000. State Treasurer State of Michigan grew its holdings in 3M by 0.3% during the 2nd quarter. State Treasurer State of Michigan now owns 175,776 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $34,579,000 after buying an additional 500 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Boulegeris Investments Inc. grew its holdings in 3M by 28.8% during the 2nd quarter. Boulegeris Investments Inc. now owns 6,526 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $1,284,000 after buying an additional 1,461 shares in the last quarter. 67.00% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

3M Company Profile

3M Company operates as a diversified technology company worldwide. The company's Industrial segment offers tapes; coated, non-woven, and bonded abrasives; adhesives; ceramics; sealants; specialty materials; purification products; closure systems for personal hygiene products; acoustic systems products; automotive components; and abrasion-resistant films, and paint finishing and detailing products.

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Analyst Recommendations for 3M (NYSE:MMM)

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