Post-it maker 3M posts disappointing earnings and outlook on stronger US dollar; shares fall

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ST. PAUL, Minnesota — 3M reported disappointing financial results for its first quarter due to the stronger U.S. dollar.

The maker of Post-it notes, industrial coatings and ceramics also lowered its outlook for the year and its shares fell before the stock market opened Thursday.

The stronger U.S. dollar has been a common complaint for companies that do business overseas. As the dollar surges against foreign currencies, it makes American-made products more expensive to foreign customers. And products that are sold in foreign countries translate into fewer U.S. dollars, hurting earnings and revenue for corporations. 3M said the stronger U.S. dollar hurt its pre-tax earnings by $90 million, or 10 cents per share, in the first quarter.

3M now expects earnings for the year to be between $7.80 per share and $8.10 per share, down from its previous forecast between $8.00 per share and $8.30 per share. The revised outlook missed Wall Street expectations. Analysts expected earnings of $8.14 per share for the year, according to FactSet.

As for 2015 revenue, 3M said it now expects it to fall by 6 percent to 7 percent from a year ago, worse than its previous forecast of a 4 percent to 5 percent drop. Analysts expected revenue to rise less than 1 percent to $32 billion, according to FactSet.

Sales in most of its business units fell. They dropped 4.3 percent to $2.7 billion at its industrial unit, 3.6 percent to $1.4 billion in is safety and graphics business, 3.3 percent to $1.3 billion in its health care unit and 2.9 percent to $1 billion at its consumer unit. Only its electronics and energy unit reported a sales increase: Sales rose less than 1 percent to $1.3 billion.

The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company reported first-quarter earnings of $1.2 billion, or $1.85 per share. The average estimate of 10 analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of $1.92 per share.

It posted revenue of $7.58 billion in the period, also falling short of Street forecasts. Five analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $7.82 billion.

Shares of 3M Co. fell $4.67, or 2.8 percent, to $160 in premarket trading Thursday shortly before the market open. Its shares are up about 19 percent in the past 12 months.

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Elements of this story were generated by Automated Insights (http://automatedinsights.com/ap) using data from Zacks Investment Research. Access a Zacks stock report on MMM at http://www.zacks.com/ap/MMM

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Keywords: 3M, Earnings Report, Priority Earnings

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