Investors bought shares of 3M Co. (NYSE:MMM) on weakness during trading hours on Thursday. $104.29 million flowed into the stock on the tick-up and $50.52 million flowed out of the stock on the tick-down, for a money net flow of $53.77 million into the stock. Of all equities tracked, 3M had the 21st highest net in-flow for the day. 3M traded down ($0.91) for the day and closed at $179.24

Several equities research analysts have recently commented on the stock. Jefferies Group reiterated a “buy” rating on shares of 3M in a research report on Wednesday, July 6th. Morgan Stanley reiterated a “sell” rating on shares of 3M in a research report on Friday, June 10th. Sanford C. Bernstein reiterated a “market perform” rating on shares of 3M in a research report on Monday, June 27th. Deutsche Bank AG reiterated a “hold” rating and set a $164.00 price target on shares of 3M in a research report on Thursday, August 25th. Finally, Credit Suisse Group AG reiterated an “outperform” rating and set a $186.00 price target (up previously from $178.00) on shares of 3M in a research report on Thursday, July 28th. Two investment analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, eight have issued a hold rating and four have assigned a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has an average rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $164.53.

The firm has a market cap of $109.28 billion and a price-to-earnings ratio of 23.08. The company has a 50 day moving average price of $179.52 and a 200 day moving average price of $170.23.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last issued its quarterly earnings data on Tuesday, July 26th. The company reported $2.08 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating analysts’ consensus estimates of $2.07 by $0.01. During the same quarter last year, the business earned $2.02 EPS. The business earned $7.70 billion during the quarter, compared to the consensus estimate of $7.73 billion. The firm’s quarterly revenue was down .3% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts forecast that 3M Co. will post $8.21 EPS for the current year.

The firm also recently disclosed a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Monday, September 12th. Investors of record on Friday, August 19th will be issued a $1.11 dividend. The ex-dividend date is Wednesday, August 17th. This represents a $4.44 dividend on an annualized basis and a yield of 2.46%.

In other 3M news, insider Paul A. Keel sold 3,180 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Friday, July 29th. The shares were sold at an average price of $178.39, for a total transaction of $567,280.20. Following the completion of the sale, the insider now owns 9,961 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,776,942.79. The transaction was disclosed in a legal filing with the Securities & Exchange Commission, which is accessible through the SEC website. Also, insider James L. Bauman sold 9,066 shares of the stock in a transaction that occurred on Monday, August 1st. The shares were sold at an average price of $178.42, for a total transaction of $1,617,555.72. Following the sale, the insider now directly owns 10,834 shares of the company’s stock, valued at approximately $1,933,002.28. The disclosure for this sale can be found here.

A number of hedge funds have recently added to or reduced their stakes in MMM. BP PLC increased its stake in 3M by 255.0% in the fourth quarter. BP PLC now owns 71,000 shares of the company’s stock worth $10,695,000 after buying an additional 51,000 shares in the last quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. increased its stake in 3M by 47.6% in the fourth quarter. Liberty Mutual Group Asset Management Inc. now owns 37,153 shares of the company’s stock worth $5,596,000 after buying an additional 11,987 shares in the last quarter. Oppenheimer & Close LLC increased its stake in 3M by 11.2% in the fourth quarter. Oppenheimer & Close LLC now owns 23,863 shares of the company’s stock worth $3,595,000 after buying an additional 2,395 shares in the last quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. increased its stake in 3M by 7.5% in the fourth quarter. Legacy Capital Partners Inc. now owns 17,441 shares of the company’s stock worth $2,628,000 after buying an additional 1,210 shares in the last quarter. Finally, Gulf International Bank UK Ltd increased its stake in 3M by 0.6% in the fourth quarter. Gulf International Bank UK Ltd now owns 184,914 shares of the company’s stock worth $27,855,000 after buying an additional 1,100 shares in the last quarter.

3M Company is a technology company. The Company operates through five segments. Its Industrial segment serves markets, such as automotive original equipment manufacturer and automotive aftermarket, electronics, appliance, paper and printing, packaging, food and beverage, and construction. Its Safety and Graphics segment serves markets for the safety, security and productivity of people, facilities and systems.

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