3M issues unsettling 2010 outlook

AP News
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Posted: Dec 08, 2009 11:54 AM

Manufacturing conglomerate 3M Co. on Tuesday issued an unsettling profit outlook for next year, and maintained a cautious profit prediction for 2009.

The company's report helped drag the broader market lower. Wall Street watches the Maplewood, Minn.-based maker of Post-its and Scotch tape closely because it manufactures so many everyday consumer items, making it a key indicator of economic health.

The company forecast 2010 earnings between $4.85 per share and $5 per share.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters predict income of $4.94 per share next year.

3M also reiterated its 2009 forecast below analyst's expectations. Excluding one-time gains and losses, it sees full-year income of $4.50 per share to $4.55 per share.

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Analysts, who typically exclude one-time items from their estimates, predict income of $4.57 per share for the year.

3M shares fell 60 cents to $77.31 in midday trading. The Dow Jones industrials lost about 70 points. The strengthening dollar and a weak sales report from McDonald's Corp., another Dow company, also pulled stocks lower.