Which industries benefited from Hurricane Sandy? Very few, one has to suppose. But among those must be e-commerce, which means another victory for Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN), even if it was not entirely earned.
With almost every major store, and all the minor ones, closed across much of the Mid-Atlantic, New York and New England, early shoppers were forced to turn online. Just as some people have voted early in the national election, past retail activity demonstrates that some consumers do not wait until mid-November or later to buy gifts. These people are either very organized or worried that some popular items will be sold out later in the year.
Amazon shares suffered when it reported worse-than-expected earnings last quarter. And some analysts worry that the current quarter will be soft. The stock is off to $238 from a 52-week high of $264. Amazon’s e-commerce advantage almost certainly shined during the storm and will for the days or weeks of clean-up to come. And its results for the holiday quarter will get a boost.
Douglas A. McIntyre