Verizon Communications, whose downtown Manhattan facilities are still without power, said the storm would have a “significant” effect on its fourth-quarter earnings. Verizon said it could not yet estimate the cost of the storm, which downed cell towers across the region. Its stock fell 62 cents to $44.52.
“The information coming out from the economic impact of Sandy is a negative,” said Rob Lutts, president of Cabot Money Management in Salem, Mass. “I think the markets are trying to digest that and understand that, so there is a little bit of uncertainty.”
Insurers, the group that will feel the storm’s effects most acutely, plunged en masse as analysts warned that the storm will eat into their income. Raymond James analysts lowered their estimates for Allstate; Barclays analysts cut theirs for Hartford Financial Services Group Inc.
The chairman of Hartford, Liam McGee, told investors on a conference call that the storm’s costs are just beginning to come into focus. “It’s much too early for us to provide data with any level of certainty,” McGee said.