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Japan Quake's Impact on US Companies

U.S. companies reported varying impact from the 8.9 magnitude earthquake that shook Japan on Friday.

Airlines

American Airlines
Getty Images
American Airlines
  • AMR Corp's American Airlines canceled all of its Japan operations for Friday. The carrier said it had six flights inbound to Tokyo at the time of the earthquake.
  • United Continental Holdings diverted seven United flights and two Continental flights from the United States that were bound for Tokyo's Narita airport, where United has a hub. The company canceled 10 United Narita-bound flights for Friday and one Continental Narita-bound flight, although limited service remains.
  • Delta Air Lines said it had canceled flights at airports in Japan. But the carrier, which has a hub at Narita and operations at Tokyo's Haneda airport, did not immediately have a total number of cancellations.

Banks

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  • Citigroup said its business operations had experienced minimal impact, but some Citibank Japan retail banking branches will not operate their usual Saturday banking operations. All other services, including Internet banking, telephone banking and ATMs are operating as normal. All its employees were accounted for and there were no reported injuries.
  • Goldman Sachs said it had no reported injuries to its people and no impact to its building. A spokesman declined to comment on whether Goldman would resume operations on Monday.
  • Wells Fargo said all its employees were accounted for and safe, but the bank reported minor damage to its two locations in Japan.

Cars

  • The earthquake threatens to crimp U.S.-bound exports of Japanese vehicles and parts in coming months. All major ports in Japan were shut, and if they stay closed for an extended period, exports of Japanese automobiles to North America could be delayed.
  • Toyota Motor has stopped production at two assembly plants and a parts factory in northern Japan. The smallest Toyota model sold in the North American market, the Yaris, is built at one of the shuttered plants.
  • Honda Motor, Nissan Motor and Subaru parent Fuji Heavy Industries also halted operations temporarily.

Chemicals

  • A Dow Chemical plant north of Tokyo that makes ion exchange resins used for water treatment experienced flooding, but there were no reports of injuries or environmental damage. The facility was built in 1993 by Rohm & Haas, which Dow acquired in 2009. Dow has 31 facilities in Japan, and a spokesman said limited communication was making it hard to gauge the full impact.
  • DuPont, which has a large petrochemical joint venture with Mitsui Chemicals Inc in Japan, said one of its facilities sustained "minor damage" from the quake and tsunami. The company declined to elaborate but said it had not received reports of injuries to its employees.

Consumer Products

  • Procter & Gamble temporarily suspended operations at one plant in Japan as a safety precaution. It said the majority of its employees in Japan have been accounted for, and its Japan offices have been confirmed safe.

Energy

  • Chevron said its refineries in Hawaii and California were preparing to respond ahead of the tsunami.
  • PG&E said it declared an unusual event at its Diablo Canyon nuclear power plant in California due to the tsunami warning, which is normal operating procedure, but both reactors there were operating normally.
  • Valero Energy , which operates two refineries in California, said it was monitoring reports regarding the tsunami alert but had not altered production at its refineries.
  • Tesoro closed a few retail stations in some low-lying areas of Hawaii as a precaution and was monitoring operations at its refineries in Hawaii, Alaska, California and Washington.

Insurance

Japan earthquake
Fukushima Minpo | AFP | Getty Images
Japan earthquake
  • Aflac , the largest foreign insurer in Japan, has "rather limited" financial exposure to the earthquake and tsunami, its chief executive said. Aflac sells supplemental disability insurance but not property insurance, and it generates about 75 percent to 80 percent of its sales and profit in Japan. Its Tokyo office has resumed operation while its small Sendai facility remains closed.

Manufacturing

  • Caterpillar, which has about 5,000 employees in Japan, said initial evaluation found no injuries to its staff and no damage to its major operations in Japan. These include manufacturing facilities in Sagami and Akashi and Caterpillar Japan's headquarters office in Tokyo.
  • 3M said initial reports indicated that its personnel in Japan were safe after the quake but that some of its buildings sustained minor damage.

Retail

  • Wal-Mart Stores said it has only a few stores in the north of Japan. While it continued to assess damage to its facilities in Japan, the majority of the business is expected to open on Saturday, pending availability of public transportation and power. The company told CNBC that it was unaware of any supply chain problems in Japan as a result of the quake.
  • Costco closed most of its 9 store locations in Japan. Richard Galanti, Costco Wholesale's Chief Financial Officer, told CNBC that a Costco-operated shipping facility was closed after it suffered minor structural damage and access to it became difficult on nearby roads. All employees have been accounted for. The company holds ample inventory for Costco stores in Japan—at least the next several days, he added.

Services

  • FedEx said it had suspended all pickup and delivery services in eastern Japan.
- CNBC News Producer Jeff Daniels contributed to this report.

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