Market Commentary

Neal Dunn Is Busy Selling This Utility Stock

Huzaifa Waseem · 1 minute read

Rep. Neal Dunn, the U.S. representative for Florida's 2nd congressional district since 2017, disclosed yesterday that he sold shares of Southern Co (SO:US) in early January.

Southern, the second-largest utility company in the U.S. in terms of customer base, was selling SO shares on January 05, when this utility stock closed at $70.38. Both transactions were valued between $15,000 - $50,000. The closing price on Friday, February 17, was $66.63, which means that Rep. Dunn was selling at nearly 5% higher prices.

Southern stock trades nearly 7.33% lower year-to-date (YTD) as the market shifts its focus from defensive utilities toward high-growth stocks. The shift in market sentiment is based on expectations that the U.S. Federal Reserve will shift away from its ultra-hawkish monetary policy and stop raising rates in the coming months. 

Shares of Southern fell last week after the company offered a full-year forecast for profit that missed the average analyst estimate. The utility company said it expects to generate $3.60 (up or down 5 cents) in profit per share in 2023, missing the consensus of $3.64. The company also introduced a 2024 EPS forecast, which also trailed the average analyst estimate. 

For the fourth quarter, Southern delivered adjusted EPS of $0.26 on revenue of $7.05 billion, better than the analyst estimate for earnings of $0.24 on revenue of $4.44 billion. 

Our Operations team, generation fleet, and power delivery system performed exceedingly well in 2022," said Chairman, President, and CEO, Thomas A. Fanning. 

"This included meeting an all-time peak load of over 41,000 megawatts in June, and an extremely frigid Christmas weekend that pushed electric demand to a winter peak of nearly 38,000 megawatts – a December record for our service footprint."

In addition to selling Southern shares, Congressman Dunn also disclosed that he sold preferred shares of financial stocks, namely KeyCorp (KEY:US) and Regions Financial (RF:US).