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3M Increases Sales but Misses Estimates on Earnings

3M (NYSE: MMM  ) reported earnings on April 25. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended March 31 (Q1), 3M missed estimates on revenues and missed estimates on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue grew slightly. GAAP earnings per share grew slightly.

Gross margins were steady, operating margins shrank, net margins dropped.

Revenue details
3M tallied revenue of $7.63 billion. The 11 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted a top line of $7.81 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were the same as the prior-year quarter's.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Dollar amounts in millions. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

EPS details
EPS came in at $1.61. The 14 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.65 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.61 for Q1 were 1.3% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.59 per share.

Source: S&P Capital IQ. Quarterly periods. Non-GAAP figures may vary to maintain comparability with estimates.

Margin details
For the quarter, gross margin was 48.0%, much about the same as the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 21.6%, 20 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 14.8%, 20 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. (Margins calculated in GAAP terms.)

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $7.92 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.75.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $31.35 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.78.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 4,430 members out of 4,582 rating the stock outperform, and 152 members rating it underperform. Among 1,392 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 1,374 give 3M a green thumbs-up, and 18 give it a red thumbs-down.

Of Wall Street recommendations tracked by S&P Capital IQ, the average opinion on 3M is outperform, with an average price target of $108.82.

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Seth Jayson had no position in any company mentioned here at the time of publication. You can view his stock holdings here. He is co-advisor of Motley Fool Hidden Gems, which provides new small-cap ideas every month, backed by a real-money portfolio. The Motley Fool recommends 3M and recommends the following options:Long Jan 2014 $65 Calls on 3M. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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