3M Shares Drop to Three-Month Low on Earnings Miss as Job Cuts Unveiled

3M (MMM), the maker of Scotch tape and Publish-it Notes, fell 6.2% to a three-month low of $115.07 in New York buying and selling after the corporate reported “slower than anticipated” development within the fourth quarter and mentioned it might minimize 2,500 jobs, forecasting additional declines in gross sales this yr.

Key Takeaways

  • 3M (MMM) gross sales declined 6% within the fourth quarter.
  • The corporate introduced it might minimize 2,500 world manufacturing jobs to regulate for weakened demand.
  • 3M forecast earnings per share to drop once more in 2023 and is predicting a ten% to fifteen% drop in gross sales within the first quarter of the yr.

The corporate reported a revenue of $541 million, or 98 cents a share, a drop of just about 60% from a yr earlier. Its gross sales declined 6% over the quarter in comparison with year-on-year figures, totaling $8.1 billion. 

“In a yr impacted by inflation, world conflicts, and financial softening, our workforce took actions to place 3M for future success,” 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman mentioned, calling the deliberate manufacturing job cuts “a essential choice to align with adjusted manufacturing volumes.”

Additional declines forecasted in 2023

The corporate will take a pretax restructuring cost within the first quarter of $75 million to $100 million. Gross sales for the primary quarter might be down 10% to fifteen% from the identical quarter a yr earlier, the corporate forecast, whereas gross sales for the total yr will decline by 2% to six%.

The corporate’s executives mentioned demand for its disposable face masks is declining, whereas resurging Covid infections in China is hurting demand there, and periodic plant closures are disrupting manufacturing. They cited world market adjustments, reminiscent of its suspension of operations in Russia, and the impression of the sturdy greenback.

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They anticipate earnings per share to drop in 2023 to between $8.50 to $9.00 a share, versus expectations set in 2022 of $9.88 a share. 

3M’s deliberate layoffs are a harbinger of broader financial considerations as firms from tech to manufacturing put together for slower gross sales and the specter of a recession. First to go are momentary employees. Within the final 5 months of 2022, virtually 111,000 momentary positions had been minimize by employers.

On the identical time, a number of the nation’s largest firms are shifting to lift wages in an try to recruit extra employees.

Walmart (WMT), the nation’s largest employer, introduced it might increase its minimal wage to $14 an hour from $12 as firms wrestle to keep up retail and warehouse employees into the brand new yr.

The transfer may have a big impression in states that have not raised their minimal wage past the $7.25 hourly federal charge. Different rivals of Walmart, reminiscent of Amazon (AMZN) or Goal (TGT), have a $15 minimal wage. The corporate is making an attempt to remain aggressive with the market, Walmart CEO and president John Furner mentioned Tuesday in a memo. Regardless of shedding a whole lot of company workers in 2022, the corporate has 30,000 retail jobs listed as open on its web site.