Storm Florence to benefit home improvement retailer sales, including Lowe's: Jefferies

  • Jefferies reiterates its buy rating for Lowe's shares, citing positive checks from conversations with the retailer's employees.
  • "Our checks indicate strong demand for hurricane preparedness products at both Home Depot and Lowe's," the firm's analyst Jonathan Matuszewski says. "Based on geographical exposure, Lowe's will likely be the largest beneficiary."
Workers prepare a house with storm shutters ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, September 12, 2018. 
Randall Hill | Reuters
Workers prepare a house with storm shutters ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Florence in Ocean Isle Beach, North Carolina, September 12, 2018. 

Home improvement sales will rise due to increasing sales in the areas affected by storm Florence, according to Jefferies.

Onetime hurricane Florence weakened to a tropical depression on Sunday. But U.S. National Weather Service meteorologist Zach Taylor said the "worst is yet to come" for the Carolinas due to flooding. Tens of thousands of homes were damaged in Wilmington, according to a Reuters report.

Jefferies reiterated its buy rating for Lowe's shares, after speaking with the retailers' employees in stores within 175 miles of Wilmington, N.C.

"Our checks indicate strong demand for hurricane preparedness products at both Home Depot and Lowe's," analyst Jonathan Matuszewski said in a note to clients Monday. "Based on geographical exposure, Lowe's will likely be the largest beneficiary."

Lowe's shares closed down slightly Monday.

Matuszewski reaffirmed his $126 price target for Lowe's shares, representing 11 percent upside to Friday's closing price.

The analyst called 85 Lowe's stores in the storm-affected area and noted nearly half of them were open on Friday night. The checks also revealed more than three-quarters of the stores were "busy" in the days preceding the storm's arrival.

As a result, Matuszewski estimates the storm will add more than 50 basis points of incremental same-store sales to the retailer's results.

Lowe's shares are significantly outperforming the market this year. Its stock is up 22.5 percent through Friday versus the S&P 500's 8.7 percent gain.