Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



3M Has Had a Great Year

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

The year is nearing its end, and now's a good opportunity to look at what happened throughout 2012 to the stocks you follow. If you know the important things a company achieved, as well as any challenges it failed to overcome, then you can make a better decision about whether it really deserves a spot in your portfolio.

Today, I'll look at 3M (NYSE: MMM  ) . As a member of the Dow Jones Industrials (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) , the company best known for Post-it Notes has had a long history of innovation in a wide range of products. This year was no different, as 3M made strides toward more firmly establishing its strength across the industries it serves. Read on to find more on what moved shares of 3M in 2012.

Stats on 3M

Year-to-date stock return


Market cap

$64 billion

Total revenue, trailing 12 months

$29.6 billion

Net income, trailing 12 months

$4.41 billion

1-year revenue growth


1-year normalized earnings growth


Dividend yield


CAPS rating


Source: S&P Capital IQ.

Why has 3M done so well in 2012?
Much of 3M's comes from its diversity. As a conglomerate, 3M has its fingers in everything from the consumer products so many are familiar with to dental supplies, specialized films for a variety of consumer goods, and its budding electronics and energy segment. Yet unlike General Electric (NYSE: GE  ) , whose industrial businesses don't have all that much in common with segments like GE Capital, 3M's array of ventures fits together pretty well.

Recently, though, 3M's slowing growth has caused some to question whether the company is still innovative. But with a new chief executive onboard, Fool contributor Travis Hoium recently opined that CEO Inge Thulin could be the one to get 3M's research and development engines firing again.

In addition, 3M may turn more to acquisitions for growth. Although its attempt to buy Avery Dennison's (NYSE: AVY  ) consumer-products division failed, the recent purchase of Ceradyne has already promised to broaden 3M's product lines in a number of promising areas involving Ceradyne's ceramic materials, including defense.

Still, the company has faced headwinds. 3M does extensive business in Europe, where economic conditions have deteriorated for some time. In addition, 3M faces the specter of a medical-device surtax that could hit its bottom line -- albeit not to the same extent as the ultra-specialized MAKO Surgical (UNKNOWN: MAKO.DL  ) and similarly health-focused peers.

3M has done well this year and has the tools to excel in the year to come as well. With a good dividend, the key to 3M's success will be restarting growth.

Learn more
3M has had a great 2012, but what will 2013 bring? Find out whether 3M is a smart buy right now by reading The Motley Fool's comprehensive new research report on the company. In addition to hard-hitting in-depth analysis to help you make an informed investing decision, you'll receive as a bonus a full year of key updates and guidance as news develops. Don't miss out; click here now to claim your copy today.

Click here to add 3M to My Watchlist, which can find all of our Foolish analysis on it and all your other stocks.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (5)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2156006, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 10/28/2016 4:29:12 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated Moments ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,161.19 -8.49 -0.05%
S&P 500 2,126.41 -6.63 -0.31%
NASD 5,190.10 -25.87 -0.50%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

10/28/2016 4:00 PM
AVY $68.61 Down -1.75 -2.49%
Avery Dennison CAPS Rating: ***
GE $29.22 Up +0.59 +2.06%
General Electric CAPS Rating: ****
MAKO.DL $0.00 Down +0.00 +0.00%
MAKO Surgical CAPS Rating: ****
MMM $165.77 Up +0.01 +0.01%
3M CAPS Rating: *****