3M profit rises after boost from health care

3M Q4 results beat on both top and bottom lines

3M, which makes N95 face masks and Post-it notes, reported a higher quarterly profit on Tuesday, helped by an increase in demand for its healthcare products during the Covid-19 pandemic.

3M's health-care unit — its third-largest business — has been the best performer among its four divisions, with the unit growing sales by 12.3% in 2020 due to robust demand for its disposable respirators and products such as hand sanitizers.

The company forecast 2021 earnings per share at between $9.20 and $9.70, or $9.45 at the midpoint, which was below analysts' average estimate of $9.52 per share, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

3M said its full-year total sales would grow in the range of 5% to 8%.

Net income attributable to 3M rose 43% to $1.40 million, or $2.38 per share, in the fourth quarter ended Dec. 31.

Net sales rose 5.8% to $8.6 billion.