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3M stock tumbles after company reports lower-than-expected earnings and cuts 2019 guidance

Key Points
  • Shares of 3M tumbled after the manufacturing giant reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, cut its 2019 earnings forecast and announced plans to lay off 2,000 workers.
  • The stock was on pace for its worst day since Oct. 19, 1987, which was Black Monday when the Dow lost 22.61%.
  • The Dow component blames worsening performance in key markets.
  • The job cuts are part of moves to restructure its businesses into four operating units from five.
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Here's what investors need to know about 3M's earnings miss

Shares of Dow component 3M tumbled Thursday after the manufacturing giant reported a lower-than-expected quarterly profit, cut its 2019 earnings forecast and announced plans to lay off 2,000 workers.

The job cuts, part of moves to restructure its businesses into four operating units from five, would result in an estimated annual pretax savings of $225 million to $250 million, with $100 million in the remainder of 2019, the company said.

Shares of 3M plunged more than 12.4%, sending the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.4%. The stock was on pace for its worst day since Oct. 19, 1987, which was Black Monday when the Dow lost 22.61%.

Watch 3M CEO Mike Roman on CNBC's "Mad Money" on Monday, April 29, at 6 p.m. ET

Here are the numbers 3M reported:

  • Earnings per share: $2.23, adjusted vs. $2.49 expected in a Refinitiv survey of analysts
  • Revenue: $7.863 billion vs. $8.025 billion expected in the survey

The first-quarter results were hurt by a litigation-related pretax charge of $548 million, or 72 cents per share. The company struggled with sales in key markets. Sales in Asia-Pacific, its biggest market outside the U.S., fell 7.4%, while sales in Europe, the Middle East and Africa declined 9.4%.

The move shaved off nearly $13 billion from the company's market cap, leaving it valued around $111 billion.

Before Thursday's decline, shares were up about 15% for the year, slightly outperforming the Dow. Now, the stock is only up about 1% for 2019.

3M's performance was in line with industrial peers before Thursday's plummet. PPG, a manufacturing company, is still up more than 13% for the year.

Scott Davis, chairman and CEO of Melius Research, said 3M's performance has lagged far behind other industrials in the first quarter, and that the company's results aren't indicative of a larger problem with the economy.

"We have other companies that have shorter cycle businesses, too, and they have not seen this type of decline. I don't think its broader than what we're seeing, I think it's fairly 3M specific," he said in an interview on CNBC.

"The long-term reputation of this company is they're slow to restructure, and when they do, it's not enough."

The company, whose diverse products include adhesive tapes and air filters, said it now expects 2019 adjusted earnings between $9.25 and $9.75 a share, down from its prior forecast of $10.45 to $10.90 per share.

"The first quarter was a disappointing start to the year for 3M," CEO Mike Roman said in a statement. "We continued to face slowing conditions in key end markets which impacted both organic growth and margins, and our operational execution also fell short of the expectations we have for ourselves."

"As a result, we have stepped up additional actions – including restructuring – to drive productivity, reduce costs, and increase cash flow as we manage through challenges in some of our end markets."

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Dow falls more than 100 points as 3M suffers biggest drop in more than 30 years