NEW YORK (Reuters) - Several Atlantic Ocean hurricanes in 2017 wrought heavy damage in the Caribbean and U.S. mainland, but for U.S. stocks in several industries, including hotels and transportation, they were a tailwind.
The first named storm of the 2018 hurricane season, Subtropical Storm Alberto, is projected to make landfall on Monday. Alberto forced the evacuation of oil workers in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico on Friday.
In 2017, the hurricane season, which typically runs from June to November, caused more than $250 billion worth of damage in the United States. Hurricane Harvey struck the Houston area in August and Hurricane Irma hit Florida in September.
Also in September, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, where thousands of residents still lack electricity.
But car rental, hotel and home improvement companies benefited from an influx of customers seeking emergency resources in the wake of the storms. Freight companies commanded higher prices as capacity tightened due to increased demand for supplies in areas struck by the hurricanes.
Not all industries fared as well. Several oil companies saw their operations disrupted by Hurricane Harvey. Insurance companies faced mounting catastrophe losses from hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Here are how shares of companies in these industries performed during last year's hurricane season.
Shares of Hertz Global Holdings Inc (N:HTZ) and Avis Budget Group Inc (O:CAR) surged during much of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season on investors' anticipation of increased demand. Hertz shares climbed 156.2 percent between June and early November, while Avis shares rose 80.1 percent during the same time period.
Both companies' shares fell sharply after Nov. 6, when Avis lowered its full-year earnings forecast in part due to damage from hurricanes. Still, Avis shares ended the year 93.2 percent above their June low, and Hertz shares climbed 133 percent in the same time period.
Between June 1 and Dec. 1, shares of USA Truck Inc (O:USAK) soared 172.9 percent, while shares of XPO Logistics Inc (N:XPO) and Old Dominion Freight Line Inc (O:ODFL) climbed more than 40 percent. J B Hunt Transport Services (O:JBHT) shares rose 26.7 percent over the same period.
Home Depot Inc (N:HD) shares rose 16.3 percent during the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season. In November, the home improvement retailer raised its 2017 profit and sales forecasts in response to increased demand for emergency and rebuilding supplies.
For several hotel operators, the increased demand from guests displaced by hurricanes outweighed the damage the storms wrought on their properties in affected areas.
From June 1 to Dec. 1, shares of Hyatt Hotels Corp (N:H) jumped 25.8 percent, while La Quinta Holdings Inc (N:LQ) climbed 24.5 percent. Shares of Marriott International Inc (O:MAR), Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc (N:HLT) and Choice Hotels International Inc (N:CHH) rose between 15.9 percent and 18.9 percent.
During the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, shares of Kinder Morgan Inc (N:KMI), which shut down several of its pipelines and gas facilities as Hurricane Harvey approached, fell 8.3 percent.
Shares of oilfield services companies also slumped. Shares of Baker Hughes (N:BHGE), owned by General Electric Co (N:GE), dropped 20.6 percent between June 1 and December 1. Halliburton Co (N:HAL) shares fell 5.3 percent, and Schlumberger NV (N:SLB) shares declined 7.2 percent.
Florida home insurers' shares slumped on Sept. 7 as investors anticipated heavy losses from Hurricane Irma. Heritage Insurance Holdings Inc (N:HRTG), HCI Group Inc (N:HCI), Universal Insurance Holdings Inc (N:UVE), United Insurance Holdings Corp (O:UIHC) and Federated National Holding Co (O:FNHC) all tumbled between 5.4 and 15.7 percent that day.
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