3M Co. said Thursday its first-quarter profits leaped 52 percent on the sale of its European pharmaceutical business.
The Maplewood-based maker of Scotch tape, weather stripping and coatings for flat-panel televisions said it earned $1.37 billion, or $1.85 per share, during the quarter that ended March 31, up from $899 million, or $1.17 per share, during the same period a year ago. Revenue of $5.94 billion was up 6 percent.
The sale of 3M’s pharmaceutical business to Meda AB in January added a gain of $422 million, or 57 cents per share. Without that, 3M still earned $1.28 per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial were expecting earnings of $1.12 per share on revenue of $5.68 billion.
3M said it still expects to earn $5.20 to $5.45 per share including a gain of 60 to 70 cents per share from the sale of its pharmaceutical business in Europe. Not counting the sale, analysts are expecting $4.66 per share.