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At US$150, Is 3M Company (NYSE:MMM) Worth Looking At Closely?

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3M Company (NYSE:MMM) had a relatively subdued couple of weeks in terms of changes in share price, which continued to float around the range of US$141 to US$154. However, is this the true valuation level of the large-cap? Or is it currently undervalued, providing us with the opportunity to buy? Let’s take a look at 3M’s outlook and value based on the most recent financial data to see if there are any catalysts for a price change.

View our latest analysis for 3M

Is 3M still cheap?

According to my price multiple model, which makes a comparison between the company's price-to-earnings ratio and the industry average, the stock price seems to be justfied. In this instance, I’ve used the price-to-earnings (PE) ratio given that there is not enough information to reliably forecast the stock’s cash flows. I find that 3M’s ratio of 15.2x is trading slightly above its industry peers’ ratio of 12.67x, which means if you buy 3M today, you’d be paying a relatively sensible price for it. And if you believe 3M should be trading in this range, then there isn’t really any room for the share price grow beyond the levels of other industry peers over the long-term. Furthermore, it seems like 3M’s share price is quite stable, which means there may be less chances to buy low in the future now that it’s priced similarly to industry peers. This is because the stock is less volatile than the wider market given its low beta.

Can we expect growth from 3M?

earnings-and-revenue-growth
earnings-and-revenue-growth

Future outlook is an important aspect when you’re looking at buying a stock, especially if you are an investor looking for growth in your portfolio. Buying a great company with a robust outlook at a cheap price is always a good investment, so let’s also take a look at the company's future expectations. With profit expected to grow by 21% over the next couple of years, the future seems bright for 3M. It looks like higher cash flow is on the cards for the stock, which should feed into a higher share valuation.

What this means for you:

Are you a shareholder? It seems like the market has already priced in MMM’s positive outlook, with shares trading around industry price multiples. However, there are also other important factors which we haven’t considered today, such as the track record of its management team. Have these factors changed since the last time you looked at MMM? Will you have enough confidence to invest in the company should the price drop below the industry PE ratio?

Are you a potential investor? If you’ve been keeping tabs on MMM, now may not be the most advantageous time to buy, given it is trading around industry price multiples. However, the optimistic forecast is encouraging for MMM, which means it’s worth diving deeper into other factors such as the strength of its balance sheet, in order to take advantage of the next price drop.

In light of this, if you'd like to do more analysis on the company, it's vital to be informed of the risks involved. For example - 3M has 1 warning sign we think you should be aware of.

If you are no longer interested in 3M, you can use our free platform to see our list of over 50 other stocks with a high growth potential.

Have feedback on this article? Concerned about the content? Get in touch with us directly. Alternatively, email editorial-team (at) simplywallst.com.

This article by Simply Wall St is general in nature. We provide commentary based on historical data and analyst forecasts only using an unbiased methodology and our articles are not intended to be financial advice. It does not constitute a recommendation to buy or sell any stock, and does not take account of your objectives, or your financial situation. We aim to bring you long-term focused analysis driven by fundamental data. Note that our analysis may not factor in the latest price-sensitive company announcements or qualitative material. Simply Wall St has no position in any stocks mentioned.