NEW YORK (CNN/Money) -
3M raised its first-quarter earnings estimates Thursday, citing cost-cutting that helped offset an expected decline in sales.
3M (MMM: Research, Estimates), a component of the Dow Jones industrial average, said that it expects first-quarter earnings to come in at or slightly above $1.20 a share, up from its previous forecast of $1.05-to-$1.20 a share. In the first quarter of 2001, the company earned $467 million, or $1.16 a share.
Analysts surveyed by earnings tracker First Call had expected a profit of $1.11 a share.
The diversified technology company, with headquarters in St. Paul, Minn., said last April that it would take a restructuring charge to cover the elimination of 5,000 jobs by mid-2002, later raising the number of job cuts to 6,000. The company said savings from those cuts, which are still in progress, will help its first-quarter results.
3M also is cutting costs through the Six Sigma statistics-based process improvement program and other key initiatives launched shortly after CEO James McNerny arrived in January, 2001, the spokesman said.
Worldwide sales volumes declined about 4.5 percent in the first quarter, near the midpoint of the expected range, the company said.
3M made the announcement after the stock market closed. On Thursday, 3M shares rose $1.21, or about 1 percent, to close at $114.12.
Also Thursday, the company said its legal name as of Monday, April 8, would be "3M Company," which for several years has been the preferred public name for Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company. The 3M trademark dates to the company's founding in 1902.