UPDATE 1-3M to spend up to $22 bln on buybacks, raises dividend

Tuesday, 17 Dec 2013 | 10:26 AM ET

(Adds details, analyst comment)

Dec 17 (Reuters) - Diversified U.S. manufacturer 3M Co said it would buy back up to $22 billion of shares in the five years through 2017 and raised its quarterly dividend by a third, joining a list of companies announcing big capital returns to shareholders.

3M shares rose as much as 3 percent to $131.59 in early trading on Tuesday. If those gains are maintained, it would be the biggest one-day rise for the stock in more than a year.

The maker of products ranging from Post-It notes to screen films used on TVs also said it planned to spend between $5 billion and $10 billion on acquisitions through 2017.

Morgan Stanley analyst Nigel Coe said the dividend increase signalled confidence, while the acquisition plans represented "a major shift in tone from this historically conservative team."

3M raised its quarterly dividend to 88.5 cents from 63.5 cents, which works out to an additional payout of $585 million if maintained for a year.

The company said it expected its 2013-2017 share repurchases to be in the range of $17 billion to $22 billion, up from its previous estimate of $7.5 billion to $15 billion.

Boeing Co's board authorized a new $10 billion share buyback program on Monday, and the company said it would increase its quarterly dividend to 73 cents per share.

Other companies announcing buybacks in the last few days include Honeywell International Inc and United Technologies Corp.

St. Paul, Minnesota-based 3M forecast 2014 organic sales to rise by 3-6 percent, excluding the effect of foreign exchange. Analysts on average were expecting the company to report 2013 revenue of $31.01 billion.

3M expects earnings of between $7.30 and $7.55 per share next year. Analysts on average expected $7.40 per share on revenue of $32.63 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

(Reporting by Sagarika Jaisinghani and Mridhula Raghavan in Bangalore; Editing by Joyjeet Das and Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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