Hurricanes Harvey and Irma may have faded from the sky, but you can count on them coming up again, this time in company conference calls.
All the big hurricanes live again in the quarters following their landfall in the U.S., according to a CNBC analysis of earnings calls transcripts over the past 12 years. Corporate executives blame the storms for lower-than-expected results, express support for those on the ground and cautiously report the pick-up in spending thanks to relief efforts. For the analysis, we focused on companies valued at $5 billion and more.
Generally, the costlier the hurricane, the more it's mentioned in subsequent calls. Hurricane Katrina, which devastated Louisiana in 2005, caused an estimated $133 billion in damages and was mentioned nearly 500 times in the ensuing quarters. Hurricane Sandy, which struck New York City in 2012 and caused major infrastructure damage across the Northeast, caused about $75 billion in damage and was mentioned over 400 times.