Stock Tables
Long/Short
US

US most shorted in focus

22 May 2020
By
Short selling is a process by which investors can profit from the decline in a company's share price. It involves borrowing the stock from a stockholder, selling it and then repurchasing it on-market at a later time at a (hopefully) lower price to return the stock to the lender. The short seller profits in this scenario due to the sale price being higher than the buy price.

The table below shows stocks that have a high percentage of their outstanding stock sold short. Stocks which attract a lot of short selling activity usually have some fundamental issues to be solved but in some cases can present an investing opportunity. When there are issues, the stock probably should not be touched, but for some highly shorted stocks careful analysis can reveal that the short-sellers have it wrong (or perhaps have overdone the selling) and therefore the trade could present an opportunity. Alternatively, an investor could try jumping on the bandwagon and shorting a stock that may have fundamental issues, although the investor needs to understand the risks associated with short selling.

A short seller will lose money if the stock rallies following the short sale. The potential losses from a short sale are unlimited since there is no limit to how high the price can rise. This is the main reason that short selling is risky, but there are also other risks associated with the practice. Once these risks have been identified and managed, short-selling can provide significant diversification to an otherwise long-only portfolio due to the ability to profit from declining stocks.

US Most Shorted

Stock codeStock nameCurrent priceShort interest ratioShort interest percent
AAL
American Airlines Group Inc
$9.72
1.76
28.62%
CCL
Carnival Corp
$14.46
1.92
21.56%
DISCA
Discovery Inc
$20.30
10.86
26.23%
HBI
Hanesbrands Inc
$9.58
9.29
17.43%
HOG
Harley-Davidson Inc
$24.39
5.31
15.20%
IRM
Iron Mountain Inc
$24.17
22.62
17.86%
JWN
Nordstrom Inc
$15.66
6.50
31.03%
KSS
Kohl's Corp
$17.48
2.05
14.83%
RCL
Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd
$43.14
1.42
14.96%
UAA
Under Armour Inc
$8.33
6.80
14.40%

Short Interest Ratio – the short-interest ratio is the ratio of the dollar value of short interest outstanding divided by the average daily trading volume over the previous 30 days. This figure gives a rough measure of how many days it would take all short sellers to buy back their stock. A larger number implies that the stock is more heavily sold short.

Short Interest Percentage – the short interest percentage is the percentage of the total stock outstanding that is sold short. It is another way to gauge how heavily short-sold a stock is.

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Short Squeeze

Sometimes companies with a large percentage of stock sold short can be subject to what is called a short squeeze. This occurs when the stock price rallies and forces short sellers to buy back stock to close out their position (remember that a short seller sells the stock first and must subsequently repurchase it to close the position). As more short sellers buy, the price rises further due to the buying activity and the increased price forces even more short sellers to buy back stock. Short squeezes can push the price rapidly upwards and can theoretically present an opportunity for a long investor to profit. Short squeezes are very difficult to predict, but stocks with a large percentage of their outstanding float sold short are an excellent place to start.

 

The information in this table should not be taken as a recommendation to either buy or sell these stocks but instead should provide the basis for further investigation into this information. Short sellers can sometimes correctly predict a stock’s demise, but they can also get it wrong and lose a lot of money when the stock rallies. Additional analysis is required to find out whether a stock with a large percentage of stock sold short is a good buy or sell candidate.

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