3M Co. said on Monday its first-quarter earnings rose, boosted by the weaker dollar, improved sales to industrial customers and strong demand for products used in flat-panel displays.
The company also raised its full-year earnings forecast and said it expects second-quarter earnings to surpass Wall Street estimates.
3M, whose products range from Post-It notes and Scotch tape to drugs and roofing granules, reported net income of $722 million, or 90 cents a share, compared with $502 million, or 63 cents a share, a year earlier.
Excluding special items in last year's first quarter, net income rose 29 percent from $560 million, or 71 cents a share.
Results exceeded 3M's increased forecast. It had boosted its outlook on March 15 to a range of 86 cents to 88 cents a share. Analysts' estimates were in the same range and averaged 87 cents, according to Reuters Research, a unit of Reuters Group Plc.
Sales increased 14 percent to $4.94 billion, with the weaker U.S. dollar providing 6.1 percentage points of the rise.
The St. Paul, Minnesota-based company increased its 2004 earnings forecast. It now expects to earn $3.60 to $3.70 a share instead of the $3.52 to $3.62 a share forecast earlier.
That's at the top of analysts' existing estimates, which ranged from $3.50 to $3.70 a share, with an average of $3.61, according to Reuters Research.