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Feature Article

Picks and Pans for Second Half 2020

By Roger S. Conrad on Jul. 10, 2020

Before 2020, utility stocks had not sold off significantly following a strong January since 1987. But history has definitely repeated, with the 6.8 percent opening month gain by the Dow Jones Utility Average deteriorating into a double-digit loss.

The massive and indiscriminate selling spurred by Covid-19 fallout took almost everything down. Nonetheless, relative performance factors were still critical for shaping returns in the Utility Report Card coverage universe. Exhibit A: The wide gap in returns between companies shown in our “2020 Picks and Pans” table.

One key difference maker has been momentum. The profit taking recommendation I issued for 13 Portfolio companies in the February 14 Alert “Utilities New Highs: What to Do Now” was largely based on rapid price increases for sector favorites.

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