Fastenal first to report
Fastenal Co. is generally the first company in Minnesota to announce results at the start of a new earnings season. The nuts-and-bolts manufacturer reported third-quarter results Wednesday with earnings per share of 40 cents, which missed analysts’ consensus by 1 cent.
The miss and pressure on the company’s gross margins pushed shares down 6.3 percent Wednesday. But Wunderlich Securities analyst Brent Rakers maintains his “buy” rating on the company. He wrote: “We believe sales growth acceleration in upcoming months will lead to another more favorable turn in stock price performance.”
On Wednesday, Target announced that it was laying off 150, or approximately 1 percent, of its corporate employees in Minneapolis. The move comes as many retailers, including Target, have lowered financial expectations for the rest of the year, including the holiday selling season. It was a rare layoff announcement by Target and an indication of the economic uncertainty that is spreading among retailers.
Stan Pohmer, a Twin Cities retail consultant, told the Star Tribune, “It’s a general retail problem, and it’s very broad.”