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Post-it maker 3M's profit beats estimates on lower costs

Traders work around the post where 3M is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange December 15, 2015. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Diversified manufacturer 3M Co (MMM.N) reported a higher-than-expected 6.6 percent rise in quarterly profit, helped by lower costs.

The company, which makes Post-it notes, Scotch tape and an array of adhesives and abrasives, also reported its smallest decline in revenue in five quarters.

Total operating expenses fell nearly 4 percent to $5.62 billion in the first quarter ended March 31, helped by restructuring initiatives including job cuts.

Net income attributable to 3M rose to $1.28 billion, or $2.05 per share, in the first quarter ended March 31, from $1.20 billion, or $1.85 per share, a year earlier.

The latest reported quarter included a gain of 10 cents per share as it changed the way it accounted for employee share-based payments.

Revenue fell to $7.41 billion from $7.58 billion.

Analysts on an average had expected the company to earn $1.92 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.

3M maintained its 2016 financial forecast of a 1-3 percent sales growth, excluding the impact of currency changes, and earnings of $8.10-$8.45 per share.

3M shares were up 1 percent at $170 in premarket trading on Tuesday. Up to Monday's close, the company's shares had risen 11.8 percent this year.

(Reporting by Arunima Banerjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Savio D'Souza)