Will 3M Stay Strong in 2013?


As December comes to a close, 2013 is just around the corner, and it's a good time to look at the future prospects for the stocks you own. If you don't know where a company's headed in the next year and beyond, then it's impossible to make an informed decision about whether you should add the stock to your portfolio -- or sell it if you already own it.

Today, I'll look at 3M . This company has been a member of the Dow Jones Industrials since 1976, and it had a strong 2012 thanks to some smart acquisitions. The key now will be for the company to take some bigger steps forward. Read on for more about 3M's prospects for 2013.

Stats on 3M

Average Stock Target Price


Full-Year 2012 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2013 EPS Estimate


Full-Year 2012 Sales Growth Estimate


Full-Year 2013 Sales Growth Estimate


Forward P/E


Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Can 3M's stock keep rising in 2013?
After a solid run in 2012, analysts aren't entirely sure how much further 3M will rise. Target prices for the stock imply less than 10% of upside based on current share prices, despite expectations of earnings growth in roughly the same proportion.

3M has demonstrated the value of having a diverse set of businesses under one roof. As a conglomerate, 3M has had the ability to shift its focus as trends change. Like fellow conglomerate General Electric , 3M has jumped on opportunities in the budding natural-gas field while also sticking with tried-and-true businesses like water and power infrastructure as well as building materials. GE's renaissance has posed a greater competitive threat to 3M as GE has managed to post stronger organic growth recently.

3M's future will also depend on how new CEO Inge Thulin does. As a longtime worker with 3M, Thulin could give the company a new push toward re-emphasizing its history of innovation and won't have the difficulties that past outside CEOs have had in melding with the company's corporate culture.

Perhaps 3M's most interesting opportunity in 2013 will come from its recent acquisition of Ceradyne. The ceramics company makes a wide variety of products, such as its PetroCeram filters that could help Petrobras and other offshore exploration and production companies to remove sand and dirt from oil. Also, it makes parts such as cam rollers for heavy-duty diesel engines for Cummins and other engine makers.

Like other companies, 3M will do best if the economy recovers strongly. But even without a big economic upturn, 3M has a lot to offer investors seeking growth and solid dividend income.

Learn more
To find out everything you need to know about 3M, go beyond this short article and get the most in-depth coverage you can find. In our premium research report on the stock, we share our views on whether 3M is a buy with a closer look at its creative culture. Don't miss out -- simply click here now to claim your copy today.

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The article Will 3M Stay Strong in 2013? originally appeared on Fool.com.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no positions in the stocks mentioned above. The Motley Fool owns shares of Cummins and General Electric. Motley Fool newsletter services recommend Cummins, 3M, and Petrobras. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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