Third quarter operating income was $2.0 billion and operating income margin was 25.0%, up 0.3 percentage points year-on-year. Third-quarter net income was $1.4 billion, up 7.5%.
The company’s operating cash flow was $1.8 billion, contributing to conversion of 100% of net income to free cash flow. 3M paid $701 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $380 million of its own shares during the quarter.
Total sales grew 13.1% in Electronics and Energy, 7.7% in Health Care, 6.2% in Industrial, 2.2% in Consumer, and 1.9% in Safety and Graphics.
“Coming off a strong first half, our team delivered an even more robust performance in the third quarter – marked by an 8% increase in earnings per share, and 7% organic growth that was positive across all business groups and geographic areas,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M’s chairman, president and chief executive officer. “We also expanded margins to 25%, while investing for the future and returning significant cash to our shareholders.”
As a result of strong performance through the first nine months, 3M increased its guidance for 2017. The company now forecasts organic local-currency sales growth of 4% to 5%, up from previous guidance of 3% to 5%. 3M expects earnings in the range of $9.00 to $9.10 per share – up 10% to 12% year-on-year – versus a prior expectation of $8.80 to $9.05.
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