Twin Cities home prices dropped another 10 percent in March compared to a year earlier. According to the latest Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller index it was the worst decline among 20 cities measured. Herb Tousley, director of the Center for Real Estate Studies at the University of St. Thomas, told the Star Tribune, "The main reason the Minneapolis area is so high is because of the high percentage of foreclosed and short sales."
Medtronic's recently announced fourth-quarter earnings and guidance for the coming year were not very encouraging and sent analysts back to review similar companies. The review by analysts at J.P. Morgan found favor with a Medtronic competitor -- St. Jude Medical. Analysts there wrote, "We view St. Jude as the best growth story in large-cap MedTech, with the potential to post sustainable 6 to 7 percent top-line CAGR [compound annual growth rate] over the next three to five years."
On May 26, Patterson Cos. reported strong fourth-quarter and year-end operating results of 52 cents per share and $1.89 per share, respectively. The dental products company also issued earnings guidance for 2012 in the range of $1.90 to $2 per share. Yet Lisa Gill, an analyst for J.P. Morgan, has reiterated her neutral rating on the company. In a research note published last week, Gill wrote, "The improving economy could lead to stronger top-line trends and accelerating earnings growth. However we believe prospects of an improving economy are already priced in based on the current valuation."