It was a quadruple-megamillions-super Tuesday-lotta-numbers-before-breakfast morning, a rare moment when four of Minnesota’s largest companies reported financial results.
In order of size, we had #2 Target, #3 Best Buy, #5 Medtronic and #13 Hormel. All four did well, though the market reaction was mixed. Here are four takeaways to chew over at lunch or at pre-Thanksgiving cocktail party:
- Target and Best Buy are now clearly winners in adjusting to a post-Amazon retail world where consumers mix their shopping between store visits and online orders. Both have refreshed their store brand and product mixes and are updating stores. They’ve also developed competitive ways to deliver online-ordered products as fast as Amazon. With Tuesday’s results, Target revealed that the costs of making that happen were more than investors were expecting, but executives said they’re playing the long game. For the coming holidays, both companies are expecting big sales.
- Medtronic is simply firing on all cylinders. And what’s more, chief executive Omar Ishrak said the company’s pipeline looks even stronger than he’s seen. The company’s shares jumped, unlike the rest of the stock market, appeared headed back to the record high level reached in September.
- Hormel’s hyper-focus on protein products is the winning strategy in today’s grocery environment. Despite the ongoing trouble in its Jennie-O turkey business, the company’s latest profit hit another record.
- All four companies have fiscal quarters that start and end a month later than companies that follow a calendar-year schedule. And all four tend to report in the third week after the quarter ends. But all four reporting on the same day is due to this week having Thanksgiving in it. Along with the heavy travel day on Wednesday and big shopping days ahead for the retailers, executives at all four wanted to get the results out Tuesday. And big investors probably wanted that too.