East Coast Longshoremen Stike Could Disproportionally Hurt Home Depot (HD) and Lowe's (LOW)

December 28, 2012 8:00 AM EST
Home Depot, Inc. (NYSE: HD) and Lowe's (NYSE: LOW) are weaker early Friday related to fears surrounding a potential East Coast dockworkers' strike.

A strike, which could start Sunday, threatens to shutdown seaports from Massachusetts to Texas. It would be the first such strike since 1977, which crippled imports. A current day strike could be worse as 45 percent of commerce in the U.S. flows through East Coast ports.

"Unless something miraculous happens, I think we're looking at a strike," said Kevin M. Burke, president of the American Apparel and Footwear Association.

While most retailers would be impacted by a strike, Home Depot and Lowe's could see the worst of it as their spring seasons are typically their strongest of the year as homeowners spruce up their houses. Home Depot generates 28 percent of its annual revenue in the quarter ending in July, while Lowe's may get 29 percent of its revenue in the period, analysts note.

Home Depot is developing a backup plan in the event of a strike, according to a spokesman, while Lowe's said they are monitoring the situation and will make changes as needed.

Shares of Home Depot indicated to open down 0.4 percent, while Lowe's is also indicated to open mildly lower.

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