3M Company (NYSE:MMM) has long been a favorite for dividend growth investors and there's a lot to like about the company. Many people know 3M as the maker of the Post It Note and Scotch Tape; however, they're much more than that.
Over the last year 3M generated over $30 B in revenue across their 5 business segments. 3M operates in the consumer space, electronics & energy, health care, industrial and safety & graphics. The great thing about 3M is that they have exposure to just about every economic sector and sub-sector imaginable. So when one business segment falls on hard times, such as the energy segment for the last year or so, the others are there to pick up the slack. Essentially when one or two operations are zigging the others are zagging. This has afforded 3M the ability to continue to grow over time since it's very rare to see every business segment struggle at the same time.
As a diversified technology company their moat firmly falls into the patents/secrets category. The secrets/patents moat style is one of my favorites because there is legal protection of the business from competitors.