3M Company’s (MMM) division, called 3M Optical Systems Division, has developed a new solution to meet the LCD manufacturers design flexibility demands. The unique solution from 3M, called Uniformity Tape, is designed to reduce the number of LEDs required for edge-lit LED LCD panels at a low cost while maintaining the brightness or efficiency of the panels.

The Uniformity Tape of 3M has adhesive on one side with which it is adhered  to the frame of the light guide, which faces the LED light sources. The other side of the tape has a micro-replicated optical pattern. The innovative designs of the display manufacturers will increase and LEDs consumption will decline further when Uniformity Tape will be used with 3M’s Dual Brightness Enhancement Film (DBEF). The new energy efficiency standards will be more efficiently met by the device manufacturers with the help of Uniformity Tape.

Strong cash flow position and continuously expanding sales revenue provides 3M ample resources to expand through acquisition and innovation of new products. 3M is known worldwide for its innovations, with some of its well-known brands such as Nexcare, Post-it, Scotch, Scotch-Brite, and Scotchgard being the market leaders. We believe that continued capital expenditure with new product launches should bolster its prospects across most end-markets.

However, the company’s growth objectives are largely dependent on timing and market acceptances of its new product offerings, including its ability to continually renew its pipeline of new offerings and bring those to the market at acceptable price points. Further, the results have been impacted by worldwide economic and capital market conditions.

Negative consumer sentiment is affecting the retail store traffic. On the corporate side, lower employment levels are negatively reducing office supply purchases in most companies.

3M Company together with its subsidiaries, operates as a diversified technology company with manufacturing operations spread over 60 countries worldwide. It has more than 35 business units organized into six segments: Consumer and Office, Display and Graphics, Electro and Communications, Healthcare, Industrial and Transportation, Safety, Security and Protection Services Business. Major competitors of 3M are Avery Dennison Corporation (AVY), EI DuPont de Nemours & Co. (DD) and Johnson & Johnson (JNJ).

We continue to maintain a Neutral rating on 3M Company for the long term. The company has a Zacks #3 Rank (Hold recommendation) over the next one-to-three months.

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