3M Pays Rising Dividends, Offers Steady Growth


Income stocks tend to be large, mature, big-cap companies with slower growth. Dow component3M ( MMM ) fits the bill.

The St. Paul, Minn.-based firm offers investors steady growth and rising dividends.

Since 2000, the maker of everything from Post-it notes to bandages to medical devices has delivered top- and bottom-line growth in all but two years. It has a five-year Earnings Stability Factor of 7, indicating a steady stream of profits.

Last year, 3M's earnings rose 7% to $6.37 a share, thanks to strength in its health care and industrial and transportation segments. Regionally, the company saw strong demand for products in Canada and Latin America, but Europe was a weak spot.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters see profit rising another 7% this year. Growth is expected to pick up to 10% in 2014.

Last month, 3M raised its quarterly dividend by 8% to 63.5 cents a share. The company has raised its dividend for 55 straight years. 3M is a member of the S&P 500 Dividend Aristocrats index, which tracks the performance of large-cap stocks that have raised dividends each year for at least 25 years.

At an annual rate of $2.54 a share, the stock has a yield of about 2.4%. The stock has a yield that's a little above the midpoint of the 26 dividend-paying stocks in IBD's Diversified Operations industry group.

3M is generally a slower mover, but it has been on a tear this year. The stock has advanced in every single week so far in 2013. This past week, 3M eked out a tiny gain and stretched its win streak to 12 weeks.

The stock cleared a 94.24 buy point from a cup base Jan. 2 and has never looked back. It has gained about 13% since then. The Dow component has yet to even pull back to its 10-week line.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.

This article appears in: Personal Finance , Investing Ideas

Referenced Stocks: MMM

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