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3M says profit rose 13 percent in quarter

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose 21 percent as the company boosted productivity and sales.
/ Source: Reuters

Diversified manufacturer 3M Co. said on Tuesday its fourth-quarter earnings rose 21 percent as the company boosted productivity and sales.

3M, whose products range from Post-It notes and Scotch tape to asthma-drug inhalers and fiber optics products, said its net income increased to $619 million, or 77 cents a share, from $511 million, or 65 cents, a year ago.

Analysts’ estimates ranged from 72 cents to 78 cents a share, with an average estimate of 75.5 cents, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.

Sales increased 14 percent to $4.72 billion from $4.14 billion in the year-earlier quarter.

3M also said it expects 2004 earnings of $3.46 to $3.52 a share, up from $3.02 a share last year.

Analysts’ 2004 estimates have ranged from $3.30 to $3.55 a share, with an average estimate of $3.47 cents, according to Reuters Research.