3M profit rises after boost from health care

3M Q4 results beat on both top and bottom lines
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.