Storm Leads Companies to Postpone Earnings Reports

AP

NEW YORK (AP) – A number of major U.S. companies postponed quarterly earnings reports scheduled for Monday and Tuesday, as Hurricane Sandy barreled into the East Coast and caused the first unplanned shutdown of financial markets since 2001.

Pfizer Inc., Thomson Reuters Corp., Tesla Motors Inc., Spirit Airlines Inc. and NRG Energy Inc. are among those holding financial reports until later this week. Pfizer, Avon Products Inc., and Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia Inc., which were due to report Tuesday, will announce results Thursday. Thomson Reuters, also originally scheduled for Tuesday, will report Friday. NRG and McGraw-Hill Cos. will also report on Friday instead of Wednesday.

More companies delaying their announcements:

At least 21 other companies also announced that they were postponing earnings announcements.

Some companies, including Burger King Worldwide Inc., Valero Energy Corp. and MasterCard Inc., are reporting as planned. Luggage maker Tumi Holdings Inc. said it will report its third-quarter results on Monday, but canceled its scheduled conference call because of Sandy.

Flooring and ceiling maker Armstrong World Industries Inc. posted its third-quarter results, but said it would reschedule its conference call to a later date.

Liberty Mutual Holding Co. canceled its conference call scheduled for Tuesday and said its financial results will be available on its web site as soon as possible.

The New York Stock Exchange, Nasdaq and CME Group in Chicago closed Monday. Trading on the NYSE was last closed on Sept. 11, 2001. The last time it closed for a weather event was in 1985, when Hurricane Gloria hit the East Coast.

Stock trading will be closed in the U.S. for a second day Tuesday as the hurricane moves inland. Bond trading will also be closed. The New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq said they intend to reopen on Wednesday and would keep investors updated.

This is the New York Stock Exchange's first weather-related consecutive-day closing since 1888, when a blizzard left drifts of snow as high as 40 feet in New York.

CME hasn't made any announcements about trading on its markets for Tuesday. CME owns exchanges that trade commodities, futures, options and securities related to interest rates.

Hurricane Sandy strengthened before dawn Monday and stayed on a predicted path toward Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York – putting it on a collision course with two other weather systems that would create a superstorm with the potential to wreak havoc over an 800-mile area, from the East Coast to the Great Lakes.

Parts of lower Manhattan near the Financial District are under mandatory evacuation orders. By midday Monday water from New York harbor was already coming over barriers at Battery Park, just south of the New York Stock Exchange.

Those conditions are expected to worsen over the next two days as the storm surge intensifies.

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