Pandemic Brings Mixed Results for Minnesota’s Fortune 500

Pandemic Brings Mixed Results for Minnesota’s Fortune 500

Four companies saw notable sales declines in 2020.

How has the pandemic been for the fortunes of Minnesota’s biggest companies? It depends on who you ask.

Only 7 of Minnesota’s 16 Fortune 500 companies posted sales gains of more than 2 percent for its most recent fiscal year.

Four of the companies saw small sales gains in the range of 0.1 to 1.5 percent. Four of Minnesota’s Fortune 500 companies saw sales declines largely due to the pandemic’s impact on business. Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy saw neither a gain nor a loss: its 2020 revenue was almost identical to what it posted in 2019.

Minneapolis-based retailer Target Corp. was in a class all by itself with revenue gains of nearly 20 percent. Electronics retailer Best Buy ranked second for sales growth. While the pandemic hurt many small retailers, many larger retailers saw big boosts in sales as shoppers went there to stock up on housewares, food and electronics.

3M acknowledged that several of its business lines were being hurt by the ongoing pandemic. Ecolab, which took a bigger hit, had similar issues. Ameriprise Financial faced market volatility and changes to client behavior due to the pandemic.

Most companies use the calendar year as their fiscal year, but there are exceptions. Retailers like Target and Best Buy have fiscal years ending in late January.

General Mills’ fiscal 2020 results on reflect a few months during the pandemic; its 2020 fiscal year ended on May 31. The company saw sales up 6.75 percent for the second quarter of its fiscal 2021, which ended on November 29, 2020.

Here is how Minnesota’s Fortune 500 stacked up for revenue gains and losses:

  • Target: +19.8%
  • Best Buy: +8.3%
  • UnitedHealth Group: +6.2%
  • C. H. Robinson +5.9%
  • General Mills +4.5%
  • Securian Financial +4.1%
  • Polaris Inc. +3.6%
  • S. Bancorp +1.5%
  • Hormel Foods +1.2%
  • Land o’ Lakes +0.4%
  • 3M Co. +0.1%
  • Xcel Energy +/- 0.0%
  • Thrivent (-5.5%)
  • Ecolab Inc. (-6.1%)
  • Ameriprise Financial (-8.2%)
  • CHS (-11%)

The latest edition of the Fortune 500 is based on company results for 2019. This year’s list will be out in a couple of months.