Fastenal sales to heat up

Bad weather in January and February has been used as a reason for poor sales by many retailers, including Winona-based Fastenal. Last week Fastenal, a distributor of industrial construction supplies, reported disappointing February sales growth of 7.7 percent. That was less than the 9 to 10 percent growth expected by Wunderlich Securities analyst Brent Rakers. “We believe unfavorable weather conditions drove half of the shortfall,” Rakers wrote last week.

Rakers expects Fastenal’s sales growth rate to strengthen in March and April, and forecasts 14 to 15 percent sales growth in May.


Hero needed at target

Target’s chief information officer, Beth Jacob, resigned last week as the Minneapolis-based retailer continues to deal with the implications of a data breach from Nov. 27 to Dec. 18. Target will search for an interim CIO but will also create a new position, chief information security officer, to beef up security around information technology. Brian Yarbrough, an analyst at Edward Jones & Co., spoke with the Star Tribune about the IT changes. “I’m sure for somebody this will be a great role,” Yarbrough said. “You can come in and look like a hero.”

Patrick Kennedy