3M is slightly reducing its profit expectations for this year because of what it calls "current economic realities."
3M makes everything from Post-it notes to optical coatings for TV screens. The variety of its businesses and worldwide footprint make the company an economic bellwether.
CFO David Meline said the world economy looks uncertain.
"We've taken a more conservative posture in terms of the outlook for growth for the full year," Meline said. "That reflects a more conservative view of the fourth quarter because we think there are plenty of uncertainties out there."
CEO Inge Thulin told analysts the global economy is just muddling along.
"We don't see any uptick. But we believe it is stable. That's also the way we have looked upon the estimation for the rest of the year," Thulin said. "There are many uncertainties in the market as we all know, but we will manage it well and have done so, so far this year."
The Maplewood-based company lowered the earnings forecast for this year by 1 percent to 2 percent. 3M also reported net earnings of $1.2 billion for the quarter that ended last month. Profits were in line with Wall Street estimates. But 3M's revenue fell short of expectations, mostly because of unfavorable foreign currency exchange rates.
All six of its business units reported at least small increases in sales. But revenue in U.S. dollars in some of those units declined.