Maplewood-based 3M expects to pay nearly $1 billion for Cogent Inc., a California maker of automated systems that read fingerand palm prints.
Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck said 3M is getting a good deal on a company that fits well with its existing businesses.
"I think 3M is going to be able to pair it with their passport security business," Fleck said. "Maybe down the road maybe even their health care business, some of the fingerprint databases and what not. So, I think from a valuation standpoint and strategic standpoint, I think it makes sense for 3M."
Jeff Windau, an analyst with Edward Jones, said 3M is getting in on a growing market.
"We really think that this is a great opportunity for 3M. The whole biometrics security area is a growing market," Windau said. "It really fits nicely with the technology platform that 3M has already developed, and it will really allow them to grow in the future."
Windau said the biometrics industry is expected to grow by more than 20 percent a year for several years. But Windau said the Cogent deal won't deliver much of a boost to 3M's profits in the near-term. The deal still requires the approval of Cogent shareholders.