Which companies are impacted by swine flu?

The swine flu epidemic (leading to a pandemic) has terrified the world. It’s impact can be felt across industries – with travel and hospitality being the worst hit. I tried to see which companies report a hit in performance because of swine flu. Using Gridstone’s Search Engine, I searched for swine flu. Here is a sneak-peak of the results:

Search results for swine flu using Gridstone Search

Summary of results:

  1. Insurance companies (AIG, PRU, PRE) cite potential performance hit because of insurance claims due to the swine flu epidemic.
  2. Strategic Hotels & Resorts (BEE) reports a new item under it’s risk factors to account for potential drop in revenue because of swine flu outbreak in Mexico. Mexico accounted for 11.4% of BEE’s revenue in first quarter of 2009 and post swine-flu outbreak leisure travel to the country has dropped.
  3. Credit card companies (AXP) report lower consumer spending in flu infested areas.
  4. GLS, a lease company, reports: The effects of pandemic diseases may negatively affect the airline industry. This may cause our lessees to default on their lease payment obligations to us.
  5. Visa Inc (V) has an interesting point and mentions the cross-border travel volume to have gone down primarily because of economic pressure. Joseph Saunders, Chairman & CEO, says They didn’t need the flu epidemic to stay off the airplanes, clearly ruling out strong swine flu impact.
  6. Consumer Services companies, especially Restaurants and Food Services (BJRI, BKC, COSI), Tourism (EXPE, HOT, OEH) are impacted negatively – no surprise there!

While most mentions of swine flu are as Risk Factors, what is interesting is that there are only a handful of companies that have made necessary changes to the risk factors section. Some like VISA Inc. has dismissed any major impact, others like (BEE) has lowered their revenue guidance significantly considering that 11.4% of last quarter’s revenue came from Mexico and that it not going to stay same in the near future.

Gridstone Search can be extremely useful not only for number crunching of financial line items, but also for major qualitative assesments of companies.

update[15/05/2009]: Today we released a new feature that succinctly presents a tag cloud of the affected tickers.

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