Maplewood-based 3M announces fourth quarter earnings on Thursday. The company's performance is often seen as an economic barometer for the U.S. and rest of the world.
The consensus of analysts following 3M is that the firm will earn about $1.1 billion on sales of about $7.7 billion. The company's products are used in the health care, electronics, aviation, automotive and many other industries. And most of its sales and profits come from outside the U.S.
Morningstar analyst Adam Fleck expects to see a continuing trend of increased sales and profits.
"The company has enjoyed some accelerating top line gains in recent quarters, really globally, if you look at emerging markets, even Europe, but also the U.S., as well," said Fleck.
3M has a lot of money to spend on acquisitions that enhance the company's portfolio of products and sales growth, he said. He expects some deals could come soon.