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3M 1Q results improve, but miss Street's view

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Photo - FILE - This April 25, 2011 photo shows 3M Post-it notes at Office Depot in Mountain View, Calif. 3M reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
FILE - This April 25, 2011 photo shows 3M Post-it notes at Office Depot in Mountain View, Calif. 3M reports quarterly earnings on Thursday, April 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Paul Sakuma, File)
News,Business,Wall Street

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — 3M's first-quarter net income rose 7 percent, led by sales growth in its health care business.

The maker of products from Post-it notes to industrial coatings and ceramics said Thursday that it earned $1.21 billion, or $1.79 per share, for the three months through March 31. A year earlier it earned $1.13 billion, or $1.61 per share.

Earnings were a penny shy of analysts' expectations, according to FactSet.

Shares of 3M fell 2.4 percent to $135.63 before the market open.

Revenue increased 3 percent, to $7.83 billion from $7.63 billion, but missed the Wall Street forecast of $7.97 billion.

Fluctuations in currency values lowered revenue by 2 percent. 3M Co. gets a considerable amount of revenue from outside the U.S., making it susceptible to currency swings.

Sales in the health care unit rose nearly 5 percent and were also higher for the industrial, safety and graphics, and electronics and energy divisions. Sales dipped in the consumer business, which ranges from stationery and office supplies to home care products.

When stripping out the effect of changing foreign exchange, sales growth was strongest in Asia and 3M's Latin America/Canada division.

The company kept its profit forecast for the year of $7.30 to $7.55 per share.

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