(Reuters) - The U.S. moved into the third week of a government shutdown after Republicans and Democrats failed to reach an agreement to pass the federal budget. The talks are complicated by the Thursday deadline to raise the U.S. debt ceiling.
Following companies and financial institutions have warned of project delays, employee furloughs and other consequences of a prolonged impasse:
The power tool maker cut its 2013 profit forecast due to the U.S. government spending cuts and shutdown and slower-than-expected margin expansion in its security business.
“We really believe the US government sequestration and shutdown have had a modest impact in Q3 on us and will have a slightly more significant impact on us in Q4,” Chief Financial Officer Donald Allan said on a conference call with analysts.
The world’s largest custody bank by assets said its balance sheet has ballooned by nearly $10 billion in October as its clients sit on more cash to ride out the turmoil caused by the U.S. government’s shutdown.
“We’ve seen some various money market funds and various clients get more defensive and put more into cash, so our balance sheet is up about $10 billion since quarter-end,” BNY Mellon Chairman and Chief Executive Gerald Hassell said Wednesday on a conference call. “We are prepared to handle that.
The surveillance products maker cut its revenue forecast for the full year to $1.45-$1.5 billion from $1.5-$1.6 billion. “Ongoing uncertainty in the U.S. government is likely to continue to affect our performance in the fourth quarter, and our revised guidance is intended to reflect this environment,” Chief Executive Andy Teich said on Tuesday.
The energy infrastructure company said if the government shutdown continued into November, it could have a “modest adverse impact” on the operating income of the firm’s technical services group, which manages nuclear production sites for the U.S. Department of Energy. Many such sites at which the unit has contracts have seen a slowdown in activity and are preparing for furloughs, which will occur over the next two weeks if the shutdown prolongs, the company said.
** WAL-MART STORES INC
The retailer on Tuesday said the government shutdown is on the minds of its customers in the United States. At the beginning of the shutdown, Wal-Mart’s Sam’s Club chain saw a slight slowdown at its warehouse club stores near government facilities but anticipated a lift in food sales if military commissaries remain closed, the unit’s CEO, Rosalind Brewer, told Reuters. The chain is offering military families and retirees free access to its stores while the military commissaries remain closed, Brewer said.
The British defense contractor’s chief executive, Linda Hudson, said more than 600 of the furloughed employees would be recalled on Tuesday. Before the recall, more than 1,100 of the company’s employees were unable to work due to the shutdown. The Defense Department has brought back most of its furloughed civilian employees in recent days, including those necessary for BAE’s sites to ship products to government customers, the company said.
The aerospace and defense company said as long as the government shutdown continues there remains the possibility of furloughs due to limited access to federal installations where Boeing employees work, its customers issuing stop-work orders, funding cuts or absence of government inspectors.
While the recall of some civilian defense employees has delayed the need for furloughs at some Boeing facilities, the continued impact of the government shutdown could still result in furloughs for some employees, Dan Beck, a Boeing spokesman, said in an e-mail to Reuters.
The shutdown was also affecting activities of NASA and other government customers supported by Boeing employees, Beck said, adding that at this time the company had no definite plans for furloughs.
The engineering company said it has temporarily laid off about 3,000 employees due to the shutdown. The number, as of October 7, is expected to increase if the shutdown continues, said URS, which counts the U.S. defense, homeland security, state and treasury departments as its customers.
The U.S. warehouse club retailer has seen a “downward” effect in the Washington, D.C. area due to the shutdown, but not overall, Chief Financial Officer Richard Galanti said on a post-earnings conference call on October 9.
The managed care company said payments for healthcare services it provides to military families would be delayed due to the U.S. government shutdown. The U.S. Defense Health Agency said on October 2 that it would not be able to reimburse the company as it did not have the legal authority, Health Net said in a regulatory filing.
The managed care company said the government shutdown would delay payments related to its military health services contract and that it could be liable for up to $175 million worth of claims if the payments do not come through.
Humana provides administrative services to the government for healthcare, with the federal government covering the cost of the benefits and associated risk.
The weapons maker said it would furlough about 2,400 of its workers because the government facilities where they work are closed due to the shutdown or the company had received a stop-work order on their program. The number of employees was expected to increase every week if the shutdown continued, the company said on October 4.
The diversified manufacturer canceled plans to temporarily lay off workers in its aerospace businesses as government quality inspectors return in the wake of the Pentagon’s decision to recall most its own furloughed civilian workers.
The company, which makes Sikorsky helicopters and other items for the military, said on October 2 that it could furlough as many as 4,000 workers in its aerospace businesses if the shutdown continued through the following week and possibly nearly 5,000 if the shutdown continued into November.
Chief executives from major financial institutions have warned of “adverse” consequences if government agencies remain closed and lawmakers fail to raise the debt ceiling by mid-October. In a meeting with Obama, Goldman Sachs Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein implicitly criticized Republicans for using their opposition to the healthcare law as a weapon that could lead to a U.S. default.
Compiled by Garima Goel in Bangalore