There are many good reasons for researching investment opportunities in a certain geographic area. Today, it's the Twin Cities area -- Minneapolis and St. Paul, amid 10,000 lakes and all the ice fishing you could want.

If you happen to live in Minnesota, you already have a few advantages when it comes to evaluating the local market, such as access to local news sources and the word on the street, and a high probability of being a customer or employee of these companies. And if you're not a local resident, you might still want to know whether the weather matches the business climate -- a hot area could be chock-full of undiscovered treasures on their way to greatness.

Without further ado, here are the largest companies headquartered in Minneapolis and St. Paul:


Market Cap (billions)

CAPS Rating


UnitedHealth Group (NYSE:UNH)


4 Stars


Medtronic (NYSE:MDT)


4 Stars




5 Stars


U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB)


3 Stars


Target (NYSE:TGT)


3 Stars


At least in the Motley Fool CAPS community, Minnesota is hotter than Miami. Way hotter. Not only are these companies much larger than anything you can find in South Florida, but all of these stocks carry respectable or outstanding ratings. And for good reason: All of them are among the leaders in their fields, with well-respected management teams. All-star CAPS member pennysplants puts 3M's greatness in a nutshell for us:

"Low risk, wide moat, making increasing investments in research and technology, well-run, ethical, in strategic acquisition mode, good discount to fair value."

And the opportunities go deeper than just the top of the heap. Looking further down the list, you'll find five-star small-caps like industrial fluids manipulator Graco (NYSE:GGG), as well as community darling Select Comfort (NASDAQ:SCSS), a four-star stock with one of the biggest fan bases in all of Fooldom. Yes, indeed, it's hot in Minnesota.

Do you agree? Disagree? Feel free to weigh in on the Twin Cities market -- or on any stocks at all, really -- by joining Motley Fool CAPS and blasting away with your ratings and commentary pitches. And if Minneapolis isn't your 'hood, maybe we'll come around where you live the next time.

Further Foolishness:

3M is an Inside Value recommendation, and Select Comfort is a Hidden Gems discovery. U.S. Bancorp is an Income Investor pick. UnitedHealth is both a Stock Advisor selection and an Inside Value pick. Our analysts have seen plenty of value in the Twin Cities -- sign up for a free 30-day trial to any of our newsletters for more of their best investment ideas.

Fool contributor Anders Bylund holds no position in any of the companies discussed here, but he can fake a Minnesota accent with his Swedish upbringing. You can check out Anders' holdings if you like. Foolish disclosure is always red-hot.