Turnaround takes hold for state's largest firms

Monday, April 25, 2011

After two recession-racked years of often desperate struggle, Minnesota's largest publicly traded companies enjoyed a reversal from their misfortune last year, as profits surged and hiring increased.

Sales at the top public firms rose 5.7 percent in 2010, a striking turnaround from the previous year, when sales had been in decline, according to the Star Tribune's 20th annual survey of the state's 100 largest public companies.

This year's review clearly shows that executives have greater confidence that the U.S. economy is finally accelerating after suffering the deepest recession since the 1930s. In fact, four out of five companies expect revenues to be better this year than last.

"That was a 'wow' to me," said Christopher Puto, dean of the University of St. Thomas Opus School of Business. Companies "are anticipating the opportunity to raise more revenue."

Read more: http://www.startribune.com/business/120543834.html

Originally published: 04/25/2011, Star Tribune