We are maintaining our Outperform rating on 3M Company (MMM) with a target price of $89. In the most recent quarter, selling prices were again positive, which boosted gross margin by 50 basis points.
Raw materials were down slightly versus Q4 of the prior year, adding approximately 30 basis points to its margin. Fourth-quarter gross margins also benefited from earlier cost reduction actions. The company invested $1.3 billion in R&D, up slightly as a percent of sales.
3M continued to support its larger key programs in this difficult economic climate. The company continues to drive growth through new products by managing the full spread of the market pyramid through new acquisitions and also by spreading internationally.
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