Short Interest Changes in Cult Stocks and Controversial Stocks (ALU, STD, BAC, BKS, DNDN, DMND, FSLR, GMCR, GRPN, HGSI, LNKD, NFLX, NOK, RSH, RIMM, SIRI)

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There are more changes in the short interest of some of the key cult stocks and most actively traded and controversial stocks. The start of earnings season may have influenced the short-selling stamina, as may have some whipping moves in the market now that stocks are no longer rising each and every day.

24/7 Wall St. has pulled some selective short interest data with the latest changes from the settlement date of April 13, 2012, versus the prior March 30, 2012, in shares of the following: Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU); Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC); Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS); Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN); Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND); First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR); Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR); Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN); Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI); LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD); Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX); Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK); RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH); Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM); and Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI).

The short interest changes are for the April 13 versus March 30 settlement dates, with selective color added if applicable:

Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw another rise in the short interest by 7.3% to 22,899,245 shares after a 4% rise the following period.

Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD) is not one of our usual short interest names but investors have really been betting against the PIIGS again and the banks in those nations. A 214% gain in the short interest to 55.7 million shares should catch almost anyone’s attention!

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) saw a larger drop this period of 8.3% in the short interest to 129,449,602 shares after seeing a 1.4% drop he period before.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) remains extremely elevated in its short interest as the activists increase their stake, and this rally may have been in part due to short covering. The April 13 settlement date grew by 8.2% to 19.06 million shares in the short interest.

Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) just erased the previous drop in the short interest as the short interest rose at the April 13 settlement date to 35,936,945 shares. This is still a high short interest if you are looking backwards.

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) is still a battleground stock but its short interest may be peaking as the rise as of the April 13 settlement date was only up by 1.4% to 11,464,107 shares.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) recently hit an all-time low and that was even after the April 13 settlement date. The short interest rose again by 13.5% to just over 23.06 million shares.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) saw a 9.9% gain in the short interest as of the April 13 settlement date to 28,015,423 shares, and that was after a 1.8% to 25.49 million shares in the prior period. This is higher than earlier in the year but well down from last year’s more active short selling.

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a large drop in the short selling as of the April 13 settlement date with a drop of 17.7% to 19.21 million shares.

Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) merely reversed its prior drop of almost 5% as the April 13 settlement date showed a gain of 4.8% in the short interest to 46.31 million shares.

LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) hardly budged as the short interest grew only 2% to 4,380,996 as of the April 13 settlement date. This short interest is still down about one-third from earlier in the year.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is back in the interest of short sellers, likely a move ahead of earnings (or losses). The April 13 settlement date saw a gain of 10.4% to 10.16 million shares in the short interest.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) short sellers apparently missed out on yet more money to be made betting against this stock’s future. The short interest fell by 1.8% as of the April 13 settlement date but this remains elevated at 227.27 million shares listed in the short interest.

RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) is one where the short sellers have been winning and one where the short interest has been growing. The April 13 settlement date showed a 9% gain to 35,850,537 shares in the short interest and that is after an 11% rise in the short interest the period before. The bets continue against the company here.

Research In Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM) may be down and out, but the April 13 settlement date saw another small drop. The drop this time was only 0.9% in the short interest to 56.75 million shares, and that is on the heels of a 5% drop seen in the prior period. This short interest was more than 60 million shares short as of mid-March.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) was down only slightly with a 0.9% drop to 285 million shares on the heels of a 6% drop in its prior short interest. What is interesting is that the Liberty/Malone news was starting to come out after this last April 13 settlement date. Keep in mind that this is down from a peak of more than 300 million shares short in mid-March.

JON C. OGG

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