Vital 3M Shareholder Criticizes CEO Mike Roman's Leadership; Urges Overhaul

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  • Bert Flossbach, a significant shareholder of 3M Co MMM, flagged concerns about CEO Mike Roman’s leadership, even suggesting a management overhaul.
  • Bert Flossbach, the co-founder and senior portfolio manager of German mutual-fund firm Flossbach von Storch AG, said 3 M’s revenue and earnings have disappointed since Roman became CEO in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reports. 3 M’s shareholder loss of 32% stacked against a 62% gain in the S&P 500.
  • 3M battled litigation over military earplugs and the “forever chemicals” known as PFAS, and its share price has dropped about 28% over the past 12 months. 
  • Flossbach said he was primarily concerned with 3M’s operations versus the litigation.
  • In January, 3M reported a quarterly profit of $541 million, or 98 cents a share, compared with $1.34 billion, or $2.31 a share, a year earlier
  • The company projected that its sales in 2023 would fall by 6% - 2% and forecasted adjusted EPS of $8.50 - $9.00.
  • 3M disclosed plans to cut 2,500 manufacturing jobs globally.
  • Roman said the company focused “on delivering for customers and shareholders in a challenging economic environment with slowing growth, inflation, and supply chain disruptions.”
  • 3M said China’s Covid-19 resurgence and 3M’s exit from its business in Russia last year hurt the financial performance. Demand for the company’s disposable face masks is returning to pre-pandemic levels, 3M has said. 
  • Flossbach’s letter said the company appears to be handling the PFAS issues well and that the military earplug complaints seem unjustified.
  • Price Action: MMM shares are trading lower by 0.49% at $119.70 in the premarket on the last check Friday.
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