The Trump administration and 3M (MMM), the U.S. manufacturer announced a joint initiative to import 166.5 million of its N95 respirator masks over a three-month period.
Under the terms of the plan, starting in April, 3M will import 55 million masks a month into the U.S. for three months, mainly from its flagship plant in China. The plan will allow 3M to continue to distribute U.S. produced respirators to Canada and Latin America, where 3M is the primary supplier.
In addition, 3M said that it agreed with the Trump administration that it would be cracking down on the recent price-gouging and counterfeiting of its respirator masks.
“We share the same goals of providing much-needed respirators to Americans across our country and combating criminals who seek to take advantage of the current crisis”, said 3M chairman and CEO Mike Roman. “These imports will supplement the 35 million N95 respirators we currently produce per month in the United States.”
The U.S. administration confirmed that it was committed to address and remove export and regulatory restrictions to enable this plan.
Since the coronavirus outbreak in January, 3M had ramped up the production of N95 respirators and doubled its global output to 1.1 billion per year, including the 35 million a month in the U.S. 3M said that it had taken actions to double its capacity to 2 billion globally within 12 months, with additional capacity to begin coming online in the next 60 to 90 days. In the U.S., 3M expects to produce 50 million N95 respirators per month in June, a 40% increase from current levels.
Wall Street analysts take a cautious stance on 3M. The company’s Hold analyst consensus rating is based on 4 Holds, 2 Sells, and 2 Buys. The average price target of $156.40 suggests potential room for a 6% gain in the next 12 months. (See 3M’s stock analysis on TipRanks)
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