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Why 3M Company's Shares Dropped Today

By Travis Hoium - Jul 25, 2017 at 1:53PM

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Earnings fell short of expectations, but there are some positive signs for 3M, as well.

What happened 

Shares of industrial giant 3M Company (MMM 0.19%) fell as much as 6.1% in early morning trading Tuesday after reporting second-quarter 2017 earnings. And shares didn't recover much by midday, trading down 5.1% at 12:30 p.m. EDT. 

So what

Revenue was up 1.9% in the quarter, to $7.81 million, and net income was up 22.6%, to $1.58 billion, or $2.58 per share. The results fell slightly short of the $7.88 billion in revenue and $2.59 per share in earnings that analysts expected. 

A pile of electronics.

Electronics are now the driver of growth at 3M. Image source: Getty Images.

The electronics-and-energy segment drove results with a 7.5% increase in sales versus a year ago, driving 10% growth in Asia Pacific. But every other business reported sales growth of 2.5% or less, which wasn't what investors were expecting. 

Now what

On the plus side, 3M reported 3.5% organic local currency growth despite a 0.3% reduction in prices during the quarter. And management is sticking to its 3% to 5% organic growth target for 2017, which would be a solid growth figure if the company can hit it. 

While the market isn't happy with the results today, the miss was pretty small, and there's some value starting to emerge in 3M's shares. They trade at 22 times the top end of 2017 earnings guidance of $8.80 to $9.05, and organic growth exceeding 3% is a nice turnaround for the company. I'd like to see even more value before jumping into shares, but this is certainly becoming a nice industrials value, and with a diverse customer base, it's a company that's built to last for decades to come. 

Travis Hoium owns shares of 3M. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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