3M is an American conglomerate, specialising in consumer goods, workplace safety and healthcare. Headquartered in Saint Paul, Minnesota, US, 3M oversees the production of more than 60,000 products under the moniker of multiple brands. Speciality products include adhesives, laminates, personal protective equipment, and window films.
In 2021, 3M was positioned just outside the top 100 of the Fortune 500 based on total revenues alone. The firm posted total sales worth $35.4 billion in 2021. At the end of 2021, 3M boasted an active workforce of 95,000+ staff, with day-to-day operations in over 70 nations worldwide.
3M is trying hard to limit the environmental impact of its operations. In December 2022, it agreed to cease production with ‘forever chemicals’ that have long featured in its products such as food packaging, non-stick saucepans, and clothing.
Long-time shareholders in the 3M stock will be pleased to hear that by the end of 2022 its share price has risen over 1,200% since its public listing. It reached an all-time high value of $258.63 in January 2018, although it has been on something of a downward trend since.
The 3M share price was impacted by the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, falling from $178 in January 2020 to $124.89 by March 2020. Although it experienced a resurgence in 2021, the rapid proliferation of inflation across major economies has hit product-based companies like 3M hard. In October 2022, the 3M share price reached $107.52, a low not seen since 2013.
One of the main reasons that the 3M share price has been anchored down in recent years is the growing number of lawsuits filed against the company. With its operations linked to a string of health hazards, residents and other companies have filed lawsuits challenging their manufacturing procedures.
Given the number of sectors that 3M is active in, it’s hard to define the company’s number-one competitor. However, several other conglomerates specialise in broad-based product development and manufacturing.
General Electric is a rival with a similar focus on manufacturing and industrial technology. It’s been trading for ten years longer than 3M, with its roots also anchored in healthcare and consumer products. Honeywell is another US-based industrial conglomerate with a proud tradition of innovating and commercialising new healthcare, security, and production technologies. General Electric is the biggest company out of the three, with a workforce of approximately 168,000 worldwide.
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