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3M Raises 2011 Forecast After 1Q Profit Rises

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(credit: Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (AP) – 3M Co. is raising its earnings expectations for the year, saying higher sales around the globe will offset the disruption to its business in Japan from the earthquake there.

The Maplewood, Minn. maker of Post-Its and Scotch Tape now expects to earn between at $6.27 to $6.47 per share this year, excluding an increase in pension and postretirement benefits. 3M attributed the improved outlook to new products that are driving sales, boosted by higher investments in research, development and marketing.

The company expects problems in Japan will cut earnings by about 10 to 13 cents per share this year.

Analysts’ average estimate is $6.24 per share, according to FactSet.

3M issued the outlook as it reported first-quarter profit that rose 16 percent from a year ago. The company said Tuesday it earned $1.08 billion in the first quarter, or $1.49 per share, compared with $930 million, or $1.29 per share, a year earlier.

Revenue rose 15 percent to $7.31 billion. The results topped analysts’ expectations of $1.42 per share on revenue of $6.84 billion.

Shares rose 2.7 percent in premarket trading to $96.62.

Sales increased by double-digit percentages in all regions the company serves, with Asia Pacific up the most from a year ago at 21 percent. Sales in the United States rose 10.2 percent.

Sales in emerging markets grew by 24 percent in the first quarter and now make up more than a third of 3M’s worldwide sales. Sales grew by 30 percent in India, 27 percent in China/Hong Kong and 25 percent in Brazil.

All six of 3M’s business segments had higher sales in the quarter, with the biggest jump in Electro and Communications at 20.5 percent. That segment makes everything from police tape to static control products.

Sales in the Industrial and Transportation unit, which includes over 1,000 products for cars like abrasives and paint finishings, rose 20.3 percent.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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