Hurricane Harvey could lower Ecolab's earnings for the quarter and fiscal year as the company and its customers continue to deal with the effects of the storm on the Houston area, CEO Douglas Baker said.
The St. Paul-based giant, which is donating 10 truckloads full of cleaning supplies to relief agencies, said Wednesday that it shut three of its manufacturing plants due to the storm and that it had several employees with severe personal losses after five days of rain and winds pounded the region.
In addition to Ecolab, "a number of our industrial and refining customers were forced to shut down their operations," Baker said in a statement. "As a result, third-quarter adjusted earnings per share could be on the low end or slightly below our previously forecasted $1.36 to $1.44 range."
Full-year earnings are also likely to fall on the lower end of the prior guidance of $4.70 to $4.90 per share, he said.
Baker said he expects to update the company's full-year guidance on or before the company announces its third-quarter results in October.
Wall Street analysts said more companies are likely to be financially affected by Harvey, because Houston is a major industrial hub for oil and gas and refining companies. Pentair, 3M, Emerson, C.H. Robinson and other companies with strong Minnesota ties all have operations in Texas affected by the storm.
"The damage caused by Hurricane Harvey to the people in its path has been immense and tragic," Baker said. "We are pleased that our Ecolab associates are safe and we are supporting them in the recovery. Our hearts and best wishes go out to everyone affected by the storms as they seek to rebuild."
To help, the maker of cleaning and sanitizing solutions is donating supplies and will match employees' financial contributions to aid agencies.
Experts predict the damage to Texas will be in the billions of dollars. On top of the devastation there, companies are now keeping an eye on Hurricane Irma now hitting the Caribbean and threatening Florida.
Ecolab employs about 3,400 people at a number of offices, manufacturing facilities and labs in Texas.
The company's shares fell nearly 2 percent to $130.89 on Wednesday.