3M Company (NYSE:MMM) announced its results for the third quarter on October 23, 2012. 3M is a global manufacturer, technology innovator, and marketer of a variety of products.

In most situations, when earnings do not meet analyst estimates, a business' stock price will tend to drop. On the other hand, when actual earnings beat estimates by a significant amount, the share price will likely surge. SEE: How To Decode A Company's Earnings Reports

The Numbers: 3M's EPS fell in line with analyst expectations of $1.65 per share while revenue of $7.5 billion missed estimates of $7.79 billion. EPS rose 8.6% while revenue declined 0.4% from the same period last year. Revenue declined last quarter after shrinking 1.9% to $7.53 billion in the second quarter. The company's net income for the quarter was $1.16 billion. According to the reported number, this is up 6.6% from last year's figures. Last quarter marked the third in a row of rising net income.

Management Quote: "The 3M team delivered another strong operating performance in the third quarter," said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer. "In the face of the current slow-growth economy, our businesses continued to grow organically and generated record profitability. All six of our businesses posted 21 percent-plus operating margins in the quarter, so we continue to execute well in 2012."

A Look Back: Net income has increased 2.5% year-over-year on average across the last five quarters. The biggest gain came in the most recent quarter, when income climbed 6.6% from the year-earlier quarter.

Looking Ahead: Expectations for the company's next-quarter performance are higher than they were 90 days ago. Over the past three months, the average estimate for the fourth quarter has risen to $1.67 per share from $1.65. Increasing earnings estimate is a positive sign about the company and it typically leads a increase in the stock price. Decreasing earnings estimates is generally a negative sign as it suggests analyst believe future earnings to be weaker than previously anticipated. For the fiscal year, the average estimate has moved up from $6.30 a share to $6.41 over the last ninety days.

Related Articles
  1. Stock Analysis

    Will J.C. Penney Come Back in 2016? (JCP)

    J.C. Penney is without a doubt turning itself around, but that doesn't guarantee the stock will respond immediately.
  2. Stock Analysis

    Allstate: How Being Boring Earns it Billions (ALL)

    A summary of what Allstate Insurance sells and whom it sells it to including recent mergers and acquisitions that have helped boost its bottom line.
  3. Options & Futures

    Cyclical Versus Non-Cyclical Stocks

    Investing during an economic downturn simply means changing your focus. Discover the benefits of defensive stocks.
  4. Investing Basics

    How to Deduct Your Stock Losses

    Held onto a stock for too long? Selling at a loss is never ideal, but it is possible to minimize the damage. Here's how.
  5. Economics

    Is Wall Street Living in Denial?

    Will remaining calm and staying long present significant risks to your investment health?
  6. Stock Analysis

    When Will Dick's Sporting Goods Bounce Back? (DKS)

    Is DKS a bargain here?
  7. Investing News

    How AT&T Evolved into a Mobile Phone Giant

    A third of Americans use an AT&T mobile phone. How did it evolve from a state-sponsored monopoly, though antitrust and a technological revolution?
  8. Stock Analysis

    Home Depot: Can its Shares Continue Climbing?

    Home Depot has outperformed the market by a wide margin in the last 12 months. Is this sustainable?
  9. Stock Analysis

    Yelp: Can it Regain its Losses in 2016? (YELP)

    Yelp investors have had reason to be happy recently. Will the good spirits last?
  10. Stock Analysis

    Is Walmart's Rally Sustainable? (WMT)

    Walmart is enjoying a short-term rally. Is it sustainable? Is Amazon still a better bet?
  1. How do dividends affect retained earnings?

    When a company issues a cash dividend to its shareholders, the retained earnings listed on the balance sheet are reduced ... Read Full Answer >>
  2. What is the difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital?

    The difference between called-up share capital and paid-up share capital is investors have already paid in full for paid-up ... Read Full Answer >>
  3. Why would a corporation issue convertible bonds?

    A convertible bond represents a hybrid security that has bond and equity features; this type of bond allows the conversion ... Read Full Answer >>
  4. How does additional paid in capital affect retained earnings?

    Both additional paid-in capital and retained earnings are entries under the shareholders' equity section of a company's balance ... Read Full Answer >>
  5. What types of capital are not considered share capital?

    The money a business uses to fund operations or growth is called capital, and there are a number of capital sources available. ... Read Full Answer >>
  6. What is the difference between issued share capital and subscribed share capital?

    The difference between subscribed share capital and issued share capital is the former relates to the amount of stock for ... Read Full Answer >>

You May Also Like

Trading Center