Credit agency Moody's Investors Service said on Tuesday that Superstorm Sandy will slash revenue and earnings at New Jersey's Atlantic City casinos and benefit home repair and discount retailers but will have limited impact on other sectors.
Electric utilities including Consolidated Edison suffered costly damage but should recover their costs. Wireless telecommunications service providers such as Verizon and AT&T were also hurt, but the affect on these carriers will be "negligible," Moody's said.
Building product companies that provide roofing-related materials are apt to see stronger-than-usual fourth-quarter results, Moody's said.
Sandy's impact on the gaming and lodging industries is centered on Atlantic City, Moody's said. Revenues there will be down by 25 percent in both the fourth quarter and the first quarter, and earnings will be down by up to 50 percent, Moody's said. It said Caesar's Entertainment, Tropicana Entertainment and single-property operators Revel Atlantic City and Marina District Finance Co. would be affected.
The storm will not have material effect on U.S. retail sales, but beneficiaries will include Home Depot and Lowes Companies Inc., as well as discounters such as Wal-Mart and Target.
U.S. airlines Delta, United and JetBlue will see a minimal impact on their credit profiles, Moody's said.
U.S. East Coast freight railroads CSX Corp. and Norfolk Southern Corp. have seen significant disruptions and could see lower cash flows and higher costs in the current quarter. But the storm is not expected to affect long-term operating performance, liquidity or credit ratings for the railroads.
Fewer working days as a result of the storm could reduce fourth-quarter revenue by about 5 percent at staffing services company ManpowerGroup Inc. and food services provider Aramark Holdings Corp. Real estate services company Realogy Group LLC could take a hit, while ServiceMaster Co. and GCA Services Group Inc. stand to benefit, Moody's said.
Sandy will have minimal impact on revenues and operating profits of healthcare providers and is unlikely to affect the credit ratings of media companies, including cable operators, newspaper publishes and outdoor advertisers.
Fast-food restaurants could see slightly lower sales and profits.
Moody's and other credit agencies rate the debt profile of companies, and their analysis sets the rates at which they can borrow.
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