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3M CEO: Inflation is slowing

·Anchor, Editor-at-Large
·2-min read
In this article:
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3M Chairman and CEO Mike Roman is seeing some signs of relief on inflation after a year where the industrial giant — similar to other manufacturing conglomerates — battled surging prices for things like resins and other commodities.

"We saw inflation continue to step up in the fourth quarter, although the rate of increase slowed," Roman said on Yahoo Finance Live. "We expect to see an impact from inflation at a slower rate."

Inflation took its toll on 3M in the fourth quarter even as it lifted prices to help offset any pressures.

The Scotch Tape maker posted operating profit declines in all of its segments. Sales rose in two of 3M's segments — health care (up 0.7%) and consumer (up 4.1%).

Here is how 3M performed compared to Wall Street estimates:

  • Net Sales: $8.6 billion vs. $8.6 billion

  • Operating Profits: $1.61 billion vs. $1.57 billion

  • Diluted EPS: $2.31 vs $2.01

3M shares fell slightly to $170.17 in Tuesday's session. The stock was the number one trending ticker on Yahoo Finance at noon on Tuesday.

The company will reveal its full-year outlook at an investor day on Feb. 14.

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS - JANUARY 28: Household products manufactured by 3M are offered for sale at a big box retailer on January 28, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. 3M announced it would be cutting 1,500 jobs as well as making other changes at the company after reporting fourth-quarter earnings that plunged 27%.  (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Household products manufactured by 3M are offered for sale at a big box retailer on January 28, 2020 in Chicago, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Roman struck an upbeat tone on the outlook for the business ahead of the event.

"There is a lot of uncertainty as we come into 2022. I would say there are some positives. We are well positioned as a company to deliver on growth in the New Year," Roman added, pointing to opportunities on electric vehicle platforms, biopharmaceuticals and home improvement.

To that end, 3M said recently it will invest $500 million in a new manufacturing plant in Clinton, Tenn., to add capacity for Command adhesive strips and Filtrete air filters.

Said Roman, "There are trends in the U.S. creating increasing demand, so that is really an opportunity to invest in a factory in the U.S."

Brian Sozzi is an editor-at-large and anchor at Yahoo Finance. Follow Sozzi on Twitter @BrianSozzi and on LinkedIn.

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