Financial Performance

‘Disappointing’ Quarter Drives Big 3M Stock Drop

The shares had their worst day in 30 years after the company missed earnings estimates and announced plans to lay off 2,000 workers.
Matthew HellerApril 25, 2019

3M shares plunged to their worst day in 30 years on Thursday after the industrial conglomerate surprised investors with an earnings miss, lowered guidance, and a plan to lay off 2,000 workers.

The stock, a Dow component, fell 13% to $190.72, shaving nearly $13 billion over 3M’ s market capitalization. It was the worst day for the stock since 1988.

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Drive Business Strategy and Growth

Learn how NetSuite Financial Management allows you to quickly and easily model what-if scenarios and generate reports.

“Wall Street isn’t in love with 3M shares,” Barron’s reported, noting that the stock trades at about 21 times estimated 2019 earnings, a premium to the overall market. “Still, no one expected Thursday’s weak report,” the publication added.

For the first quarter, 3M earned an adjusted $2.23 per share on revenue of $7.863 billion. Analysts had expected earnings of $2.49 per share on revenue of $8.025 billion.

The results were hurt by a litigation-related pretax charge of $548 million, or 72 cents per share. But CEO Mike Roman admitted that “The first quarter was a disappointing start to the year for 3M.”

“We continued to face slowing conditions in key end markets which impacted both organic growth and margins, and our operational execution also fell short of the expectations we have for ourselves,” he said in a news release. “As a result, we have stepped up additional actions — including restructuring — to drive productivity, reduce costs, and increase cash flow as we manage through challenges in some of our end markets.”

As part of the restructuring, 3M expects to cut 2,000 jobs worldwide, resulting in an estimated annual pretax savings of $225 million to $250 million.

The company, a diversified maker of products including Post-It notes, industrial coatings, and ceramics, showed broad-based weakness during the first quarter, with four of its five divisions posting revenue declines. The industrial segment, its largest, saw a 6.6% drop in sales.

“The long-term reputation of this company is they’re slow to restructure, and when they do, it’s not enough,” Scott Davis, CEO of Melius Research, told CNBC.

3M now forecasts 2019 adjusted earnings of between $9.25 and $9.75 a share, down from its prior guidance of $10.45 to $10.90 per share.

4 Powerful Communication Strategies for Your Next Board Meeting