Maplewood-based 3M's second-quarter profit fell 17 percent.
The company earned $783 million, compared with $945 million in the same period a year earlier. Sales slipped 15 percent to $5.7 billion. But the company says it sees evidence the recession may be ending.
3M raised its sales and earnings forecast for the year, predicting smaller declines than previously expected. CEO George Buckley says 3M is well-prepared for an economic rebound -- or continuing recession.
"Regardless of whether this quarter is truly the first ray of sunrise or whether it's actually a false dawn, because of our early actions and continued discipline, we're well positioned to maintain 3M on this positive trajectory."
3M is considered a bellwether of the U.S. economy because of the breadth of its operations. In the second quarter, the company benefited from strong demand for consumer electronics that use 3M products. 3M also got a boost from the sale of respiratory masks to people afraid of the swine flu virus.