Start the conversation
3M Co. (NYSE: MMM) late yesterday (Tuesday) announced a 5% dividend increase and a $7 billion stock buyback.
The St. Paul, Minn.-based company said that its board had authorized the repurchase of up to $7 billion the company's outstanding common stock, a move that replaces the firm's existing buyback program. 3M announced no closing date for the buyback program.
"Today's announcement reflects the strength of our business model and our confidence in the future," said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president and CEO. "Our strong balance sheet and outstanding free cash flow allow us to fund growth investments and continue our legacy of returning significant cash to shareholders."
Over the past five years, the company has returned over $15 billion to shareholders through a combination of dividends and share repurchases. 3M has paid dividends to its shareholders without interruption for more than 94 years.
The 3M board of directors declared a common-stock dividend of 55 cents per share on the company's common stock, a 5% increase over the quarterly dividend paid out last year. This is the 53rd straight year that 3M has increased its dividend, the company said. The payout is payable March 12 to shareholders of record as of the close of business on Feb. 18.
3M is a diversified technology company, and conducts business on a worldwide basis in such segments as industrial and transportation, healthcare, consumer and office products, display and graphics and other businesses.
Among analysts, 11 currently rate it a "Strong Buy," one rates it a "Moderate Buy," three rate it as a "Hold," and one rates it as a "Moderate Sell," according to Forbes.com.