“3M executed well in the fourth quarter, with results that were in line with our expectations,” said Mike Roman, 3M CEO. “We delivered organic growth of 3% – which included growth across all business groups and geographic areas – along with strong cash flow and earnings. The fourth quarter capped an important year for 3M, as we posted good results and continued to take actions to strengthen our company for the future.”
Fourth-quarter 2018 GAAP earnings were $2.27 per share, an increase of 167% versus the fourth quarter 2017. Sales were down 0.6% to $7.9 billion. Organic local-currency sales increased 3.0% while divestitures decreased sales by 1.3%. Foreign currency translation decreased sales by 2.3% year-on-year.
Fourth-quarter operating income was $1.8 billion and operating income margins were 22.4%. The company’s operating cash flow was $2.3 billion, contributing to conversion of 128% of net income to free cash flow.
Full-year 2018 GAAP earnings were $8.89 per share, an increase of 12.1%. Sales increased 3.5% to $32.8 billion and organic local-currency sales increased 3.2%. The combination of acquisitions and divestitures increased sales 0.1%. Foreign currency translation increased sales 0.2%. Full-year operating income margins were 22.0%, while adjusted operating margins were 24.7%, up 40 basis points versus 2017.
The company’s operating cash flow was $6.4 billion, contributing to conversion of 91% of net income to free cash flow for the year. For the full year, 3M paid $3.2 billion in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $4.9 billion of its own shares.