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Tracking Disclosure of Hurricane Damage
Monday, October 16, 2017

The hurricanes that have battered Puerto Rico, Texas, and Florida this fall are material events for many companies. Employees may be unable to return to work; physical facilities may be in ruins; insurance payouts might blow apart carefully planned balance sheets.

How material will hurricane damage be? We don’t yet know the full picture. But already some companies are giving an early picture in their disclosures, and Calcbench subscribers can find that data with a few keystrokes.

For example, Delta Airlines took a $120 million hit to pre-tax income in third-quarter 2017 due to disruptions that hammered its hub in Atlanta and lucrative routes across the Caribbean. Lennar Corp., a home builder, said on Sept. 14 that Hurricane Irma will probably push delivery of 700 homes in the Florida market from fourth-quarter 2017 into early 2018. Azz Inc., a maker of coatings for the electrical industry, lowered expectations for its industrial products line because both hurricanes idled its factors across the South for days.

As of Oct. 15, Calcbench counted 13 companies that had disclosed some sort of update to investors about hurricane damage. We will undoubtedly see more. The wildfires in California are likely to prompt more disclosures too.

How do Calcbench subscribers track what filers are saying? Easy.

Start at the Interactive Disclosure Page. On the left-hand side, set the parameters for whatever group of companies you want to search. (We searched the “whole universe” of filers to find the 13 companies mentioned above.) On the right-hand side, select the “Calendar Year” radio button and “2017-Q3” for the “Select Calendar Year and Period” icon. Then, in the text search box on the right-hand side, just type “hurricane.”

For now, to find as many results as possible, don’t bother narrowing the type of disclosure through the drop-down menu on the left. In the fullness of time companies will probably make many, many disclosures related to the hurricanes, across multiple periods. When that happens, then you might want to restrict disclosure type to earnings release, or preliminary results, or 10-Q.

Right now, we just want to capture as many fresh results as possible. That’s how you do it.

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