About 20 percent of Sonic's consolidated revenue for the first half of 2017 was attributable to its Houston locations, the company said. Harvey ravaged Houston in August flooding the area and damaging Sonic's 19 franchise stores and five collision repair centers there.
Likewise, Irma affected Sonic's operations in Florida, Alabama and Georgia in "varying degrees," it said. In that area, 24 stores were impacted, with 11 Florida locations hurt the most. All of the affected stores were open and operating by Sept. 15, though operations were limited at some because of damage, the company said.
At that time, Sonic's executive vice president of operations, Jeff Dyke, said the Houston-area stores' closings would be "devastating" for earnings.
"You can't make up for the lost sales, but over half a million cars were destroyed," Dyke told Automotive News at the time. He added, "When this water dries up, we'll start selling cars."
In a research note, Morgan Stanley analyst Adam Jonas estimated the replacement vehicles in Houston at 300,000 to 500,000 with another 100,000 in Florida, where, he added, "we could see (higher margin) service revenue from the wind damage. Our checks suggest that volumes remain strong in October, but less strong than September."