St. Paul, Minnesota, USA, 10 February 2009 -- (BUSINESS WIRE) -- 3M's board of directors (NYSE:MMM) today declared a dividend on the company’s common stock of 51 cents per share for the first quarter 2009, a 2% increase over the quarterly dividend paid in 2008. The dividend is payable on 12 March 2009, to shareholders of record at the close of business on 20 February 2009. This marks the company’s 370th consecutive quarterly dividend and the 51st consecutive year of 3M dividend increases.
“By increasing our dividend during this period, we are clearly communicating our confidence in the fundamentals of our company and in 3M’s ability to continue providing solid returns to our shareholders,” said George W. Buckley, 3M chairman, president, and CEO. “At the same time, in this challenging environment it’s prudent to take a conservative approach to 3M’s dividend increase as a way to bolster liquidity and to maintain a strong cash position.”
Over the past five years, the company has returned USD 17.6 billion to shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
3M’s board also approved an extension to the company’s USD 7 billion share repurchase authorization, which is set to expire this month. The extension, which has no designated close date, will expire once the balance of USD 2.6 billion (as of 31 December 2008) is invested in 3M shares. With the company's current emphasis on maintaining ample liquidity and enhancing balance sheet strength, share repurchase activity has been suspended. However, extension of the program will provide flexibility to resume repurchase activity when business conditions permit.
As of 31 December 2008, 3M had 693,543,287 common shares outstanding and 116,627 shareholders of record.
The 3M board of directors also set 13 March 2009, as the record date for the determination of stockholders entitled to notice of, and to vote at, the Annual Meeting of Stockholders to be held on 12 May 2009.
A recognized leader in research and development, 3M produces thousands of innovative products for dozens of diverse markets. 3M’s core strength is applying its more than 40 distinct technology platforms – often in combination – to a wide array of customer needs. With USD 25 billion in sales, 3M employs 79,000 people worldwide and has operations in more than 60 countries.