8 Stocks Prolific Trader Sen. David Perdue Sold While In Congress

Over the course of six years, U.S. Sen. David Perdue has placed 2,596 stock trades. Some of the trades may have involved possible inside information thanks to his position on several Senate sub-committees.

What Happened: The New York Times published an in-depth look at Perdue’s history of trades during his term as a senator.

The Republican from Georgia faces a run-off election for his seat in January.

Over six years, Perdue was the most active stock trader in the Senate, sometime buying and selling more than 20 times a day. The trades by Perdue totaled around one-third of all trades by senators during this time. His trading volume was more than the next five most active traders combined. 

The Justice Department has investigated Perdue for possible insider trading, but declined to bring charges, the report said. 

Perdue has said all of his trades were handled by outside advisors, but the article notes he told Goldman Sachs to sell a specific stock on at least one occasion.

Related Link: Why FireEye’s Stock Is Trading Higher Today

Cybersecurity Wins: Perdue was a member of a cybersecurity subcommittee in the U.S. Senate.

From 2016 to 2020, Perdue bought and sold cybersecurity company FireEye Inc FEYE. At one point, Perdue owned $250,000 in FireEye shares.

Half of Perdue’s trades in FireEye came when he was a member of the cybersecurity subcommittee.

FireEye landed a $30-million U.S. Army contract that Perdue may have known about before it was publicly announced.

Perdue had capital gains from his FireEye sales of over $15,000 in 2018.

Perdue also made $15,000 to $50,000 in capital gains when he sold BWX Technologies Inc BWXT. The company supplies nuclear components and landed several contracts from the U.S. Navy.

Financial Stocks: Perdue was a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee. 

Bank stocks Perdue sold during his time in Congress include JPMorgan Chase JPM, Bank of America Corporation BAC and Regions Corporation RF.

Perdue bought shares of Regions Financial on more than 30 occasions in 2017 and 2018. Perdue pushed to roll back financial regulations and co-sponsored a bill that proposed to soften the regulations of mid-size banks like Regions.

Regions shares were up 35% when President Donald Trump signed the bill into law.

John Turner, the CEO of Regions Financial, has contributed to Perdue’s re-election campaign.

Pandemic Stocks: In April, Perdue was one of several Senators who faced criticism over trading shares of companies that stood to benefit from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Perdue sold shares of several names after a Jan. 24 meeting held to discuss the pandemic. Perdue’s office said he did not attend the briefing.

Perdue bought $260,000 in Pfizer Inc PFE shares between Feb. 26 to Feb. 28, before the company announced a partnership with BioNTech BNTX on a COVID-19 vaccine.

Shares of DuPont DD, a company that provides personal protective equipment, was another stock bought by Perdue in the early stages of the pandemic.

In February, Perdue sold all his stakes in Caesars Entertainment CZR, a casino operator that was later hurt due to travel restrictions and shutdown orders.

What’s Next: Perdue was one of several Senators who sold their stocks in April while in the spotlight due to trading during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Stock Act was passed eight years ago to try and prevent ethical issues tied to lawmakers buying and selling stock while serving in Congress.

There is no law prohibiting trading stocks by members of Congress at this time. 

U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley believes the Stock Act doesn’t go far enough, the Times reported. Merkley co-sponsored legislation that would ban the trading of individual stocks by members of Congress.

Photo by Perdue for Senate via Wikimedia

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