3M Approves New Share Buy Back Program


3M Company (MMM) recently approved a new share repurchase program for the repurchase of up to $12 billion worth of stock. The new share buyback authorization replaced the existing share repurchase program.

3M had earlier declared a dividend of 85.5 cents per share for the first quarter of 2014, up 35% year over year. The increased dividend is payable on Mar 12, 2014, to shareholders of record on Feb 14. The company has continuously paid dividends to its shareholders for more than 97 years and this is the 56th consecutive year of dividend increase.

3M has consistently returned significant cash to its shareholders through share repurchase and dividends. The company had reportedly returned $37 billion to its shareholders in the last 10 years through a combination of dividends and share repurchase transactions, accounting for about 97% of the reported net income.

3M expects to further leverage its balance sheet to provide higher returns to shareholders. During 2013–2017, share repurchases are expected to be in the range of $17 billion to $22 billion, up from its previous guidance of $7.5 billion to $15 billion.  

3M continues to deliver sustainable increases in sales, earnings and free cash flow, benefiting from its long-term strategy of accelerating investment in high-growth programs. The recent dividend hike also follows strong quarterly and annual results.

3M, together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company with manufacturing operations spread over 70 countries. The company aims to deliver innovative security solutions to businesses and governments worldwide, thus maintaining the security of people and documents.

3M currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks that look promising and are worth a look include Carlisle Companies Inc. (CSL), Hutchison Whampoa Ltd. (HUWHY) and Magna International, Inc (MGI), each carrying a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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