3M (NYSE:MMM) was downgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a note issued to investors on Wednesday.

According to Zacks, “3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets have been its forte. Moreover, 3M is continuing with its portfolio restructuring efforts by divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and continues to make investments in other lucrative markets. Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which 3M intends to focus. 3M has also outperformed the industry in the past three months. However, adverse foreign currency translations are likely to affect 3M’s ability to realize projected growth rates in sales and earnings. 3M is also facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. The related extra costs are a drag on the company’s bottom line. In addition, as exports form a significant part of operations, sustained strength in U.S. dollar will continue to negatively impact earnings.”

Several other brokerages also recently weighed in on MMM. ValuEngine downgraded shares of 3M from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research note on Friday, December 1st. Citigroup reissued a “buy” rating and issued a $250.00 target price (up previously from $228.00) on shares of 3M in a research note on Monday, October 9th. Royal Bank of Canada boosted their target price on shares of 3M from $205.00 to $209.00 and gave the company a “sector perform” rating in a research note on Wednesday, October 25th. Credit Suisse Group reissued an “outperform” rating and issued a $237.00 target price (up previously from $229.00) on shares of 3M in a research note on Wednesday, October 11th. Finally, Argus reissued a “buy” rating on shares of 3M in a research note on Friday, December 22nd. Three analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and eight have issued a buy rating to the company. The company currently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and an average target price of $231.59.

Shares of 3M (MMM) traded up $1.49 during mid-day trading on Wednesday, reaching $241.28. 1,695,100 shares of the company traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,127,950. 3M has a 12-month low of $173.55 and a 12-month high of $244.23. The firm has a market cap of $143,880.00, a P/E ratio of 26.93, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.39 and a beta of 1.10. The company has a quick ratio of 1.47, a current ratio of 2.07 and a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The conglomerate reported $2.33 earnings per share for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.12. 3M had a net margin of 17.71% and a return on equity of 48.55%. The firm had revenue of $8.17 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.93 billion. During the same quarter in the previous year, the company posted $2.15 EPS. The firm’s revenue for the quarter was up 6.0% on a year-over-year basis. sell-side analysts predict that 3M will post 9.09 EPS for the current year.

In other news, CFO Nicholas C. Gangestad sold 4,004 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The stock was sold at an average price of $233.84, for a total transaction of $936,295.36. Following the completion of the sale, the chief financial officer now owns 25,805 shares in the company, valued at approximately $6,034,241.20. The sale was disclosed in a document filed with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jon T. Lindekugel sold 400 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $230.06, for a total value of $92,024.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 22,804 shares of company stock valued at $5,303,706 in the last 90 days. 0.58% of the stock is owned by company insiders.

Several large investors have recently modified their holdings of MMM. Capital Research Global Investors purchased a new stake in shares of 3M during the 2nd quarter worth about $89,237,000. Coho Partners Ltd. grew its holdings in shares of 3M by 26.8% during the 2nd quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 687,532 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $143,137,000 after purchasing an additional 145,318 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of 3M during the 3rd quarter worth about $28,564,000. Capital Wealth Planning LLC grew its holdings in shares of 3M by 1,854.3% during the 2nd quarter. Capital Wealth Planning LLC now owns 131,427 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $27,362,000 after purchasing an additional 124,702 shares during the period. Finally, UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. grew its holdings in shares of 3M by 4.9% during the 2nd quarter. UBS Asset Management Americas Inc. now owns 1,916,848 shares of the conglomerate’s stock worth $399,069,000 after purchasing an additional 89,307 shares during the period. Institutional investors and hedge funds own 66.20% of the company’s stock.

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About 3M

3M Company is a technology company. It operates through five segments. The Industrial segment serves a range of markets, such as automotive original equipment manufacturer and automotive aftermarket, , appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, and construction. The Safety and Graphics segment serves a range of markets for the safety, security and productivity of people, facilities and systems.

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