3M (NYSE:MMM) was upgraded by Zacks Investment Research from a “hold” rating to a “buy” rating in a research note issued on Monday. The brokerage currently has a $271.00 price target on the conglomerate’s stock. Zacks Investment Research‘s price target points to a potential upside of 9.88% from the stock’s current price.

According to Zacks, “3M's global footprint, diversified product portfolio and the ability to penetrate in different markets have been its forte. Moreover, 3M is continuing with its portfolio restructuring efforts by divesting assets that no longer fit in its strategy and continues to make investments in other lucrative markets. Portfolio management, investment in innovation and business transformation are the three key levers on which 3M intends to focus. 3M also intends to continue investing in capital expenditures and R&D to support organic growth as it aims a prudent capital structure strategy and increased capital deployment. Furthermore, 3M is standardizing its business processes through a new, global ERP system and expects to save $500 to $700 million annually by 2020. 3M has outperformed the industry in the past three months. However, high pension expenses continue to be a drag on the company’s bottom line.”

Several other analysts have also recently issued reports on the stock. Deutsche Bank upped their target price on shares of 3M from $180.00 to $240.00 and gave the company a “hold” rating in a research report on Wednesday, January 10th. Argus restated a “buy” rating on shares of 3M in a research report on Friday, December 22nd. ValuEngine cut shares of 3M from a “buy” rating to a “hold” rating in a research report on Friday, December 1st. Goldman Sachs Group reissued a “sell” rating on shares of 3M in a research report on Thursday, October 26th. Finally, Citigroup increased their price objective on shares of 3M from $250.00 to $262.00 and gave the stock a “buy” rating in a research report on Wednesday, October 25th. Three research analysts have rated the stock with a sell rating, six have issued a hold rating and nine have given a buy rating to the company. The stock presently has a consensus rating of “Hold” and a consensus target price of $233.68.

Shares of 3M (NYSE MMM) traded up $1.90 during midday trading on Monday, hitting $246.64. 278,493 shares of the stock traded hands, compared to its average volume of 2,028,130. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.89, a current ratio of 2.07 and a quick ratio of 1.47. The stock has a market cap of $146,880.00, a PE ratio of 27.53, a price-to-earnings-growth ratio of 2.43 and a beta of 1.10. 3M has a 52-week low of $173.55 and a 52-week high of $247.19.

3M (NYSE:MMM) last announced its earnings results on Tuesday, October 24th. The conglomerate reported $2.33 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, beating the consensus estimate of $2.21 by $0.12. The firm had revenue of $8.17 billion for the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $7.93 billion. 3M had a net margin of 17.71% and a return on equity of 48.55%. The business’s revenue was up 6.0% compared to the same quarter last year. During the same period in the prior year, the company earned $2.15 EPS. equities analysts forecast that 3M will post 9.1 EPS for the current fiscal year.

In other 3M news, insider Frank R. Jr. Little sold 1,500 shares of 3M stock in a transaction dated Friday, October 27th. The shares were sold at an average price of $234.47, for a total transaction of $351,705.00. The sale was disclosed in a filing with the SEC, which can be accessed through the SEC website. Also, insider Jon T. Lindekugel sold 400 shares of 3M stock in a transaction dated Tuesday, October 31st. The stock was sold at an average price of $230.06, for a total transaction of $92,024.00. The disclosure for this sale can be found here. Insiders sold a total of 22,804 shares of company stock worth $5,303,706 over the last 90 days. Insiders own 0.58% of the company’s stock.

A number of hedge funds have recently modified their holdings of the business. Capital Research Global Investors purchased a new stake in shares of 3M in the 2nd quarter valued at approximately $89,237,000. Bank of Montreal Can raised its stake in shares of 3M by 38.9% in the 4th quarter. Bank of Montreal Can now owns 930,370 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $218,981,000 after acquiring an additional 260,349 shares during the period. Coho Partners Ltd. raised its stake in shares of 3M by 26.8% in the 2nd quarter. Coho Partners Ltd. now owns 687,532 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $143,137,000 after acquiring an additional 145,318 shares during the period. Crossmark Global Holdings Inc. purchased a new stake in shares of 3M in the 3rd quarter valued at approximately $28,564,000. Finally, Capital Wealth Planning LLC raised its stake in shares of 3M by 1,854.3% in the 2nd quarter. Capital Wealth Planning LLC now owns 131,427 shares of the conglomerate’s stock valued at $27,362,000 after acquiring an additional 124,702 shares during the period. 66.23% of the stock is currently owned by institutional investors.

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3M Company Profile

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

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