3M Company, stock symbol MMM, currently operates in six different manufacturing segments including healthcare, industrial and transportation, consumer and office, display and graphics, electronics and communications and safety, security and protection. 3M continues to increase their global presence by innovating new adhesive products and turning a tidy profit from popular consumer favorites such as Post-It Notes and Scotch tape. The first quarter of 2010 showed a profit increase of 47% for overseas sales for 3M. Third quarter 2010 sales showed 80% of the companies divisions with a year by year sales increase. The majority of 3M sales are to retailers and large distributors, with some large market companies and hospitals buying directly for more specialized products. 3M innovates customized products for specific segments of the healthcare and safety market.
3M began in 1902 as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company, which almost failed as a mining company. One hundred years later, after a very uncertain start, the company changed its name to 3M stock quote symbol MMM. The company has expanded its present day business to include over 55,000 individual products in six business segments. It no longer handles a pharmaceutical division; this division was sold in 2007 for $2.1 billion to multiple buyers. In its fastest growing business segment, healthcare, they share the market with competitors Proctor & Gamble, Kimberly-Clark and Clorox. The company is currently growing its industry segment in the LCD film market, of which they hold the lion’s share of the market at 80%.
3M also keeps its eye on raw materials pricing, which can significantly affect production cost and end-user cost of its products. As of mid-2008, the board of directors and management for 3M mitigated the rising cost of key raw materials by gradually increasing the price of end-user products. The price increases ended out over the amount of the raw materials increases.
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