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Some stocks have shown they can brave the cold

There's no doubt many businesses across the U.S. have suffered greatly from this year's winter storms. But not everybody.

Winter storm boston
Bill Greene | Boston Globe | Getty Images

Perhaps counterintuitively, retailers and restaurants have often done well in recent years when it's cold out, said Chris Bertelsen, chief investment officer of Global Financial Private Capital, a Florida-based financial consulting firm. "It's contrarian, but I'd ask people to study the [historical trends]," he said.

Many restaurants benefit from cold weather because they actually get more foot traffic. "Many people decide to go out and eat at a restaurant rather than going to the grocery store and buying food," Bertelsen said.

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Shares of Buffalo Wild Wings, for example, rose more than 10 percent 3 of 4 winters from 2010 to 2013, while Ruth's Hospitality Group, which operates Ruth's Chris steakhouses, gained over 20 percent twice during the same time period, according to FactSet.

While online retailers do well during cold weather because many people prefer to stay home, some bricks-and-mortar retailers also experience higher foot traffic. In fact, retailers like Macy's win both ways because of their strong online performance. Others, like Foot Locker, also benefit from the cold weather, Bertelsen said.

Macy's stock rose more than 10 percent 3 out of the 4 last winters, excluding this one, according to FactSet. Foot Locker climbed over 12 percent 2 out of the last 4 winters.

There are also other businesses that benefit from winter's wrath.

Masood Vojdani, president and CEO of MV Financial Group, a Maryland-based asset management firm, said companies like Toro, a snow removal equipment and turf-maintenance company, may profit from the cold weather, as the need to clear snow increases.


Another company that could benefit from cold weather is Generac Power Systems, a backup generator manufacturer owned by Generac Holdings, Vojdani said. Other potential beneficiaries are Home Depot and Lowe's, because of the damage some residences experience during the winter, Vojdani added.

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Toro's stock rose more than 13 percent 2 of 4 winters from 2010 to 2013, according to FactSet. Generac and Home Depot gained more than 11 percent 2 out of the last 4 winters, while Lowe's stock value grew each of the last four winters.

Nevertheless, Vojdani cautioned investors about considering such seasonal investments. "Investors should be looking to invest long term; not just on seasonal stocks," he said.

Disclosure: When this story was published, Bertelsen's company owned stock in Foot Locker, Macy's, Buffalo Wild Wings and Ruth's Hospitality Group. Vojdani's company did not own stock in any of the companies mentioned at the time of publication.