3M (NYSE:MMM) shares gained more than 4% intra-day today following reports that the company reached an agreement to pay over $5.5 billion to resolve more than 300,000 lawsuits that allege its combat earplugs, sold to the U.S. military, were faulty. While the official announcement is awaited, BofA analysts suggest that this settlement would significantly benefit 3M, falling at the lower end of estimated values based on initial reports. Earlier projections, such as those from Barclays, anticipated a settlement cost of at least $8 billion for 3M.
According to the analysts, the proposed settlement of $5.5 billion is notably less than the range of $10-15 billion suggested by experts quoted in the Wall Street Journal. However, they noted that investor expectations were in the $5-7 billion range, making this settlement align with the lower end of those expectations.