Blue Chip Stocks: Acquisitions & research fuel 3M’s growth

Article Excerpt

3M COMPANY $69 (New York symbol MMM; Conservative Growth Portfolio, Manufacturing & Industry sector; Shares outstanding: 669.0 million; Market cap: $46.2 billion; WSSF Rating: Above average) is one of the world’s largest industrial companies and is an example of the kind of blue chip stocks that can pay off for investors. It makes over 50,000 products in six main areas: Industrial and Transportation (30% of revenue); Health Care (16%); Display and Graphics (16%); Consumer and Office (14%); Safety, Security and Protection (13%); and Electro and Communications (11%). Major brands include Post-it notes, Scotch tape, Scotchguard protection and Thinsulate insulation. Like many of our favourite blue chip stocks, the company’s broad product base cuts its reliance on a single industry or customer. It also sells its products in over 60 countries, which limits its exposure to a single geographic area. Overseas sales now account for about two-thirds of 3M’s sales. Cost savings help expand earnings Thanks partly to the success of a recent restructuring,…

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