3M downgraded by Jefferies due to rising interest rates, recession fears

A difficult year for 3M shareholders will not get better anytime soon, according to Jefferies.

The firm lowered its rating for the industrial company’s shares to hold from buy, predicting its valuation will decline in the latter part of the economic cycle.

“We see less room for multiple expansion in a rising rate environment, and once recession risk moves to dominate the investor debate the forward P/E multiple likely compresses,” analyst Laurence Alexander said in a note to clients Wednesday. “The risk/reward looks increasingly challenging at this point.”

3M shares are underperforming the market this year. Its shares declined 14 percent year to date through Tuesday compared with the S&P 500’s 1 percent return.

The company’s stock is down 1.2 percent Wednesday after the report.

Alexander reduced the firm’s price target to $220 from $250 for 3M shares, representing 9 percent upside from Tuesday’s close.

The analyst predicts 3M will face “lumpiness” in its electronic display materials, drug delivery, consumer health care, energy and auto businesses this year and next year.

“3M’s strength has been its consistent execution of a familiar playbook: a good recipe for compound growth across the cycle, but one that significantly reduces the chance for dramatic flare or a surprising late-cycle reacceleration,” he said.

3M did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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