3M plans to cut 300 jobs, profit up in fourth-quarter

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3M Co., maker of Scotch Tape, Post-it Notes and other products, will eliminate about 300 jobs as it merges its security and traffic-safety businesses, Reuters reports. It's among the steps CEO Igne Thulin is making to boost performance.

Wall Street Journal says the two units have been hurt by lower government spending.

On Thursday, the Maplewood, Minn.-based manufacturer also reported its fourth-quarter profit increased 3.9 percent to $991 million, driven by strong performance in its consumer, graphics and health care segments, the Associated Press reports. Net income for 2012 climbed 3.8 percent to $4.44 billion.

“Fourth-quarter was a good finish to a successful year for 3M,” Inge G. Thulin, 3M chairman, president and chief executive officer, said in a new release. “Our people executed well in the face of challenging macroeconomic conditions and we have built good momentum to innovate and move forward in 2013.”

3M's stock reached an all-time high of $99.67 per share Wednesday afternoon before closing at $99.49, the Star Tribune reports. The company's stock has climbed 16 percent in the last year.

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3M Co. posted a record third-quarter earnings of $1.65 per share, an increase of 8.6 percent increase from a year earlier, but cut its profit expectations for all of 2012 because of "current economic realities." The Maplewood-based company, which makes everything from office supplies to specialized coatings, expects to earn $6.27 to $6.35 per share for the year, down from $6.35 to $6.50, CNBC reports.