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

According to Zacks, “Post 3Q earnings, 3M has underperformed the Zacks categorized Diversified Operations industry with an average return of 3.8% compared with 7.4% for the latter. 3M is facing increased pension expenses as its workforce begins to retire. Adverse foreign currency translations are also likely to affect the company’s ability to realize projected growth rates in its sales and earnings. In addition, the company is susceptible to high commodity price risks. Earnings estimates for the current quarter are down over the past 60 days although the company has a positive earnings history in the trailing four quarters. 3M is restructuring its portfolio to revive its growth momentum. During 2016–2020, 3M expects 8–11% growth in earnings per share driven by an organic sales growth of 2–5%. 3M is also standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system and expects $500 to $700 million in annual operational savings by 2020.”

MMM has been the subject of a number of other research reports. Goldman Sachs Group Inc. lowered 3M from a neutral rating to a sell rating and dropped their price target for the stock from $172.96 to $159.00 in a research note on Monday, November 21st. Royal Bank Of Canada lowered their price objective on 3M from $159.00 to $155.00 and set an underperform rating for the company in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Barclays PLC raised 3M from an equal weight rating to an overweight rating and raised their price objective for the company from $171.00 to $194.00 in a research report on Monday, October 24th. RBC Capital Markets reissued an underperform rating and set a $155.00 price objective (down previously from $159.00) on shares of 3M in a research report on Wednesday, October 26th. Finally, Morgan Stanley reissued a sell rating and set a $168.00 price objective on shares of 3M in a research report on Tuesday, August 23rd. Four equities research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and four have given a buy rating to the company. The stock has an average rating of Hold and a consensus price target of $170.80.

Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) opened at 172.77 on Tuesday. The stock has a 50 day moving average of $170.04 and a 200 day moving average of $173.87. The company has a market cap of $103.92 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 21.78 and a beta of 1.04. 3M has a 1-year low of $134.64 and a 1-year high of $182.27.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last announced its quarterly earnings results on Tuesday, October 25th. The company reported $2.15 EPS for the quarter, topping analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.14 by $0.01. 3M had a return on equity of 42.27% and a net margin of 16.40%. The company earned $7.70 billion during the quarter, compared to analyst estimates of $7.72 billion. During the same quarter last year, the firm posted $2.05 earnings per share. The firm’s revenue was up .0% on a year-over-year basis. On average, equities analysts forecast that 3M will post $8.17 EPS for the current year.

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The firm also recently declared a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, December 12th. Investors of record on Friday, November 18th will be issued a $1.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date of this dividend is Wednesday, November 16th. This represents a $4.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.57%. 3M’s dividend payout ratio is presently 55.92%.

In related news, insider Julie L. Bushman sold 10,424 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Thursday, November 17th. The stock was sold at an average price of $173.02, for a total value of $1,803,560.48. Following the transaction, the insider now directly owns 32,717 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $5,660,695.34. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, VP Eric D. Hammes sold 504 shares of the business’s stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, November 14th. The stock was sold at an average price of $173.69, for a total value of $87,539.76. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. 0.58% of the stock is owned by corporate insiders.

Hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in the company. Cable Hill Partners LLC increased its stake in 3M by 5.0% in the second quarter. Cable Hill Partners LLC now owns 583 shares of the company’s stock worth $103,000 after buying an additional 28 shares during the last quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC increased its stake in 3M by 38.1% in the second quarter. Reilly Financial Advisors LLC now owns 645 shares of the company’s stock worth $113,000 after buying an additional 178 shares during the last quarter. CenturyLink Investment Management Co purchased a new stake in 3M during the second quarter worth about $116,000. Concannon Wealth Management LLC increased its stake in 3M by 45.6% in the third quarter. Concannon Wealth Management LLC now owns 655 shares of the company’s stock worth $116,000 after buying an additional 205 shares during the last quarter. Finally, Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. increased its stake in 3M by 7.5% in the second quarter. Jackson Grant Investment Advisers Inc. now owns 706 shares of the company’s stock worth $124,000 after buying an additional 49 shares during the last quarter. 63.36% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About 3M

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

5 Day Chart for NYSE:MMM

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