3M shares fall as earnings miss target

3M Co.

Last Updated at 20 Oct 2017, 20:01 GMT *Chart shows local time 3M Co. intraday chart
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Shares at the Post-it note and sticky-tape maker 3M dropped after the company reported worse-than-expected profits.

The company's earnings in the third quarter were $1.09bn (£688,000; 785,000 euros), only just below the $1.1bn made in the same period last year.

Sales grew by 10%, but the market had been expecting strong growth.

3M, which also supplies parts for electronics, said its performance had been partly prompted by the eurozone crisis, which had hit consumer demand.

A halving of a previous sales growth forecast to between 3-4% next year added to the pressure and the shares ended down 6.3%.

The company said, as a supplier, it saw the impact of a slowdown faster than some companies.

It said its customers were expecting consumer demand to slow, and had been destocking in anticipation of that, and therefore needed fewer parts to meet future orders.

3M's chief executive, George Buckley, said its electronics unit had been particularly affected by a drop in demand for LCD televisions.

Sales in its display and graphics business fell 12% in the quarter, due largely to weakness in the LCD television market.

Mr Buckley said. "As is typical, we are seeing the impact of these changes earlier than most as our customers decrease production in order to lower their inventories. Conversely, we should benefit more quickly when those markets recover."

Despite weakness in certain parts of its business, 3M saw continued growth in other business areas, including security, transportation and healthcare products.

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