Hurricane Florence is expected to hit the Carolinas as a major hurricane on Thursday and was already a Category 4 storm on Tuesday. Evacuations, home repairs and homes having to be entirely replaced can certainly create some serious issues for far more than just the simple damage and inconveniences. There is a serious impact on companies and local economies that also comes into play.
24/7 Wall St. has tracked many hurricanes and natural disasters over time. It turns out that there are some companies that do rather well from an increase in sales around natural disasters, while some companies are hurt. Then there is the real-life risk of loss of life that is impossible to calculate and unfair to compare financially.
Of the companies that win from storms and natural disasters, home building products retailers might seem the most obvious. Investors and speculators need to think beyond just Hurricane Florence. There are two other active storms in the Atlantic, with one more Atlantic development and one more Gulf of Mexico system that may develop into storms in what was being considered the peak week of the 2018 hurricane season.
Home Depot Inc. (NYSE: HD) shares were up on Monday and Tuesday, with a $214.20 share price late in the day being up almost 4% from last Friday’s close. Its key rival is Lowe’s Companies Inc. (NYSE: LOW), and its 1.4% gain to $114.00 on Tuesday was actually up just over 4% from last Friday’s close. Residents really do have to buy up lumber, roofing, power generation, lights and many other things ahead of and after natural disasters.
Generac Holdings Inc. (NYSE: GNRC) was up less than 1% at $59.20 late on Tuesday, but that is actually up by over 6% from last Friday’s close for the generator maker before the storm threat was so imminent. Briggs & Stratton Corp. (NYSE: BGG) is also in that field, and its gain of just 0.3% to $20.45 late on Tuesday was actually up only about 1% from last Friday as the company is more diversified
There is also a boost to windows, doors and roofing. JELD-WEN Holding Inc. (NYSE: JELD) was up 2.4% at $26.05 late on Tuesday, but that is a gain of over 5% from last Friday for the doors and windows maker. PGI Innovations Inc. (NASDAQ: PGTI) had been as high as $26.40 earlier on Tuesday, but the last look of being down 1% at $25.95 was still up over 2% from last Friday.
Owens Corning (NYSE: OC) also had been up strong on Tuesday, but profit taking had its shares down 0.2% at $60.52 before the close. That is still a gain of 3.5% from last Friday’s close. BMC Stock Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BMCH) was up just 0.2% at $22.50 late on Tuesday, after backing off of higher levels, but its shares have risen more than 2% since last Friday.
United Rentals Inc. (NYSE: URI) is generally considered a go-to winner of natural disasters and any rush rebuilding because it rents out so many forms of tools and equipment for builders all around the country. United Rentals was still up over 5% at $168.60 on Tuesday shortly before the close, but that is really a gain of 10.7% since last Friday.
TopBuild Corp. (NYSE: BLD) was up 2.3% at $63.97 ahead of Tuesday’s close, but that is up over 4.2% from last Friday. TopBuild is into insulation and other building products for the construction industry.
Even the car rental companies were up as people have to rent more cars ahead of planned evacuations and then also after other cars and equipment are damaged or destroyed by disasters. Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (NYSE: HTZ) was up 1.6% at $19.04 on Tuesday, but that’s a gain of 5.3% from last Friday. A gain of 0.5% to $32.58 on Tuesday for Avis Budget Group Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR) was also a gain of 2.5% from last Friday.
If you want to know if there are losers, look no further than the property and casualty insurers. Allstate Corp. (NYSE: ALL) was actually up 0.2% at $98.05 right before Tuesday’s close, but this stock had a $100.03 price last Friday. Progressive Corp. (NYSE: PGR), Chubb Ltd. (NYSE: CB) and Travelers Companies Inc. (NYSE: TRV) had all recovered on Tuesday as well, but their shares were all lower than Friday’s closing prices.