By Dhirendra Tripathi – Shares of 3M (NYSE:MMM) slipped 1.7% after Credit Suisse (NYSE:CS) downgraded the stock to neutral from outperform, citing difficulty in quantifying its liabilities owing to the legal challenges it faces.

Analyst John Walsh has a target of $212 for the 3M stock, 7.8% higher than its current level of $196.69.

According to Walsh, 3M’s earnings per share could approach $11 in 2022, but he doesn’t expect to see significant multiple expansion due to the legal challenge occupying the company.

Last month, a federal judge ruled that Kent County, Michigan, residents can proceed with claims that 3M and shoemaker Wolverine World Wide (NYSE:WWW) contaminated their drinking-water wells.

According to a Reuters report, the residents say the companies created a private and public nuisance by knowingly polluting their environment with per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a family of chemicals contained in 3M's fabric treatment Scotchguard that Wolverine used at its Rockford, Michigan, tannery.

In another lawsuit that 3M faces, more than 230,000 service members, veterans and others have blamed 3M earplugs for causing hearing loss.

The plugs, used widely by the U.S. Army and other branches, were designed to fully block noise if inserted in one direction, while in the opposite direction the plugs would let in nearby voices but still shield the ear from harmful ballistic noises, according to a WSJ report.

3M has stood by the safety of the earplugs, which it stopped selling in 2015.

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