3M, DuPont Closed 2010 Strongly

Both companies released fourth-quarter 2010 results Tuesday and raised their 2011 earnings expectations, saying sales increased across their business segments last year.

Two of the largest companies serving the worldwide safety and health industry, 3M and DuPont, announced strong fourth-quarter 2010 results Tuesday and raised their 2011 earnings expectations. 3M said its full-year 2010 sales were $26.7 billion and earnings per share were $5.63, up 15.3 percent and 24.6 percent, respectively. DuPont said its 2010 sales of $31.5 billion were up 21 percent from 2009, with $3.28 of earnings per share, up 62 percent from $2.03 in 2009.

Sales in China (including Taiwan) were up more than 50 percent in 2010 to $3.3 billion, with electronics-related sales and automotive-related sales contributing, DuPont CEO Ellen J. Kullman said. She said sales in India during 2010 reached $678 million, up more than 40 percent from the prior year. Overall demand for Nomex and Kevlar "started to rebound midyear," she said.

3M CEO George W. Buckley said 3M's $1.4 billion in R&D spending during 2011 "fueled innovation and drove new product sales as a percent of total [sales] to 31 percent." 3M raised its 2011 earnings expectation to a range of $5.95 to $6.20 per share, versus its prior expectation of $5.90 to $6.10. Likewise, DuPont raised its 2011 EPS guidance to $3.45 to $3.75 per share, versus its prior expectation of $3.30 to $3.60 per share.

3M said its Industrial and Transportation unit's 2010 sales were $8.6 billion, up 17.5 percent in local currency; Health Care's 2010 full-year sales were $4.5 billion, up 5.2 percent; and Safety, Security and Protection Services' 2010 full-year sales were $3.3 billion, up 7.5 percent.

The DuPont Safety and Protection segment's full-year 2010 sales were $3.4 billion, up 20 percent from 2009, and its full-year net income was $449 million. Kullman said DuPont expects to close on its $6.3 billion acquisition of Copenhagen, Denmark-based food ingredients maker Danisco during the second quarter of 2011.

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