Storm-Proof Your Portfolio: 3 Stocks for Hurricane Season

During the late summer, when tropical waters are warmest, thunderstorms cluster to suck up the warm, moist air and move it high into the earth’s atmosphere. As a result, tropical circular winds spin around the eye, which is a low-pressure center 20 to 30 miles in radius characterized by eerie calm.

When the tropical storm’s winds reach 74 miles per hour, these self-sustaining heat engines are called typhoons in the Pacific, cyclones in the Indian Ocean, and hurricanes in the Atlantic.

With June 1 marking the beginning of the hurricane season, these tropical storms are set to ravage the eastern seaboard. In addition to gusty winds that can wreak havoc, storm surges caused by water being pushed to the shoreline by those winds can rise 20 feet above sea level and extend for 100 miles to cause widespread loss of life and property.

Moreover, with the ever-intensifying threat of global warming that’s causing sea levels to rise and the imminent spikes in global temperatures and extreme weather conditions due to the arrival of El Niño, it would be unsurprising to find hurricanes increasing in severity and climbing up the Saffir-Simpson Scale.

While hurricanes, like all natural phenomena, serve a higher purpose by circulating heat from the earth to the poles to regulate global temperatures, they have far-reaching negative implications for the broader economy and the investment world. However, there are businesses out there that thrive amid adversity by helping their customers tide over it.

Repair and restoration of homes in the aftermath of hurricanes could lead to a resurgence in the prospects of home improvement and heavy machinery businesses by deeming most of their offerings non-discretionary and indispensable.

Here are three stocks that could be propelled by hurricanes at their sails.

The Home Depot, Inc. (HD)

The home improvement retailer serves two primary customer groups: do-it-yourself (DIY) Customers and Professional Customers (Pros). Its offerings include building materials, home improvement products, lawn and garden products, repair and operations products, and associated services.

Due to weak demand for big-ticket items and falling lumber prices, as consumers have delayed large projects amid rising mortgage rates and increased expenditure on services, HD missed its revenue expectations during the fiscal first quarter.

However, with the onset of the hurricane season and the tailwind of the switch from gas-powered to battery-powered outdoor tools, fueled by California’s ban on the sale of gas-powered equipment starting in 2024, and the passing of noise ordinances by an increasing number of cities and homeowners’ associations, HD has reaffirmed its fiscal 2023 guidance and established its market stability outlook.

Lowe's Companies, Inc (LOW)

With new home purchases softening amid rising mortgage rates, home improvement projects will keep homeowners of an aging U.S. housing stock busier than usual this summer. Hence, the home improvement retailer is best positioned to make a tailwind out of this turbulence, with more than two-thirds of sales contributed by non-discretionary purchases, such as new appliances to replace broken ones.

As a result, LOW has surpassed its revenue and expectations for the first quarter of the fiscal year.
Moreover, as with its peer mentioned above, the ongoing upgrade cycle driving sales of battery-powered outdoor tools has the potential to keep the momentum going.

Caterpillar Inc. (CAT)

The heavy-machinery manufacturer of construction and mining equipment, diesel and natural gas engines, industrial gas turbines, and diesel-electric locomotives operates through its three primary segments:

Construction Industries, Resource Industries, and Energy & Transportation.

While a boost in U.S. infrastructure spending kept order books full and helped CAT beat Street expectations with a 31% rise in first-quarter profit, increased restoration, relief, and rescue activity during the hurricane season could lead to a surge in demand for its construction industries segment which is engaged in supporting customers using machinery in infrastructure, forestry, and building construction.