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MMM EPS Diluted (TTM) Chart The

Buybacks have artificially boosted earnings per share, and it’s starting to put a strain on the company’s balance sheet. Spending more than you make In the last year, 3M has paid out $2.47 billion in dividends on top of the share repurchases. In total, $7.86 billion has been returned to shareholders. But over that same timeframe, the company has made just $4.76 billion in free cash flow. And cash flow is down 10.8% so far this year. Without sufficient cash to pay for share buybacks and dividends, 3M has had to use debt to provide the needed cash. In the last year, debt has increased from $7.34 billion to $11.3 billion.

http://www.nasdaq.com/article/is-3m-masking-a-bigger-problem-with-share-buybacks-cm550664

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