3M (NYSE: MMM) reported earnings on Jan. 24. Here are the numbers you need to know.

The 10-second takeaway
For the quarter ended Dec. 31 (Q4), 3M beat expectations on revenues and met expectations on earnings per share.

Compared to the prior-year quarter, revenue increased and GAAP earnings per share expanded.

Gross margins dropped, operating margins grew, net margins contracted.

Revenue details
3M reported revenue of $7.39 billion. The 10 analysts polled by S&P Capital IQ predicted sales of $7.18 billion on the same basis. GAAP reported sales were 4.2% higher than the prior-year quarter's $7.09 billion.

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 $1.41. The 12 earnings estimates compiled by S&P Capital IQ averaged $1.41 per share. GAAP EPS of $1.41 for Q4 were 4.4% higher than the prior-year quarter's $1.35 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 46.0%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter. Operating margin was 19.5%, 30 basis points better than the prior-year quarter. Net margin was 13.4%, 10 basis points worse than the prior-year quarter.

Looking ahead
Next quarter's average estimate for revenue is $7.79 billion. On the bottom line, the average EPS estimate is $1.67.

Next year's average estimate for revenue is $31.33 billion. The average EPS estimate is $6.82.

Investor sentiment
The stock has a five-star rating (out of five) at Motley Fool CAPS, with 4,434 members out of 4,583 rating the stock outperform, and 149 members rating it underperform. Among 1,399 CAPS All-Star picks (recommendations by the highest-ranked CAPS members), 1,381 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 $99.12.

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