The short interest in the actively traded cult stocks and in some of the active low-priced shares is often volatile. We tracked some rather large moves up and down in this group for the October 31 settlement date, versus the October 15 report. Some of these changes were much larger than they have been in recent periods.
Here we look at the following active cult stocks and low-priced short interest reports: Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA).
Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw a gain of less than 1% to 18.21 million shares from 18.17 million shares. As shares are this close to $1.00, it is getting harder to short.
Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) saw another small drop in the short interest to 186.1 million shares from 190.59 million shares. Here is an interesting stat: this was the tenth consecutive drop in the short interest here after having peaked at 263 million shares at the end of May.
Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) saw less than a 1% rise to 47.16 million shares, but that was the fourth rise in a row and represents a year high in the Dendreon short interest.
Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) saw a drop of more than 2% to 7.71 million shares, but this days to cover grew to a high of 45 days.
Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) saw a huge gain of almost 20% in its short interest to 87.988 million shares, and that barely makes it the biggest short interest reading since its IPO.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw a drop of close to 5% in the short interest to 28.215 million shares, but the days to cover grew to 5.84; perhaps this was getting out, as First Solar is an election play.
Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) saw another gain, but this was by only 2% to 49.7 million shares. The days to cover is now 12.2 days and both readings are highs for 2012.
Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) gained more than 10% back up to 36.049 million shares, but that is on the heels of a huge drop in the prior period.
Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) saw it fifth consecutive rise in the short interest, with a gain of about 6% to 17.2 million shares. This is the highest reading for 2012.
Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) saw a 6.4% gain in the short interest to 312.77 million shares, but days to cover went dropped to 6.3 from 9.2.
RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) saw a drop to 36.82 million shares from 39.2 million shares in the short interest. The days to cover grew to almost 12 days from 10.5 days at the last report.
Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) saw a microscopic drop to 95.397 million shares from 95.478 million shares previously. This remains close to a near-term high in the short interest, and the days to cover of almost 7.2 is also close to a 2012 high.
Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) saw large gain to 297.8 million shares in the short interest, versus 274.8 million shares at the prior report. The days to cover actually dropped to 3.33 days.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) saw massive drop, about one-third of the short interest, down to 12.77 million shares from 19.33 million shares.
JON C. OGG