Revenue rose 2.5 percent to $7.57 billion in the fourth quarter,
below the analysts' average estimate of $7.71 billion.
Analysts expressed disappointment in the region that includes Latin
America and Canada, where sales growth slowed significantly, and in
the decline in revenue in the consumer business, which includes
stationery and office supplies.
Shares of 3M fell 1.9 percent to $127.77 in morning trading.
"Maybe this is a read-through that we're still in a slow-growth
environment," said Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck, noting that 3M's
revenue increase had slowed from 5.6 percent in the third quarter.
The company, whose products include Post-it notes and film for
flat-panel televisions, backed its 2014 financial targets, including
revenue growth of 3 percent to 6 percent.
3M said fourth-quarter net income rose to $1.1 billion, or $1.62 per
share, from $991 million, or $1.41 per share, a year earlier.
The results were in line with the analysts' average estimate,
according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
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However, Sanford Bernstein analyst Steven Winoker said earnings had
benefited from a lower-than-expected tax rate, and he described the
results as an "operational miss."
Sales in Latin America and Canada increased 2.2 percent after rising
10.5 percent in the third quarter and 8.5 percent in the second
quarter. On a conference call, executives said weak sales in
Venezuela had brought down results in the region.
Last month, 3M said it would spend $5 billion to $10 billion on
acquisitions through 2017, including possible "multibillion-dollar"
transactions. It also expects to pay $17 billion to $22 billion for
share repurchases in that time.
(Reporting by Lewis Krauskopf; editing
by Lisa Von Ahn)
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