According to data from the NYSE and Nasdaq, for the period that ended April 30, shares sold short in Sprint-Nextel (NYSE: S) rose 132% t0 139.3 million. The wireless company’s prospects have been burned by the success of AT&T (NYSE: T) and Verizon (NYSE: VZ). And Sprint’s CEO Dan Hesse agreed to reset his compensation for last year because of shareholder objections about its size.
Shares sold short in Chesapeake Energy (NYSE: CHK) rose 28% to 67.2 million. The value of the stock is down by nearly half because of a scandal that has engulfed CEO Aubrey McClendon and his board. McClendon has been taking investments in wells drilled by the company.
Shares short in Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ) were higher by 31% to 38.8 million as worries that new CEO Meg Whitman will not be able to repair the firm’s operations soon.
The short interest in Alcatel-Lucent (NYSE: ALU) rose 25% to 28.7 million. The telecom equipment maker has posted a string of losses as the demand from its cable and telephone corporate clients has fallen.
Shares short in Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) were up 17% to 50.5 million. The company just posted an earnings forecast that drove its shares down on extraordinary volume.
The short interest in new IPO Zynga (NASDAQ: ZNGA) was up 51% to 42 million. The market has started to doubt whether the company’s products are unique enough for its to fend off competition.
Douglas A. McIntyre