Big Short Seller Attack on Cult Stocks and Low-Priced Stocks (ALU, GNW, GRPN, MU, MTG, NOK, RSH, SIRI, ZNGA)

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The short interest in the actively traded low-priced stocks and cult stocks saw some significant changes since the end of February, with more bets against these companies on the rise. We compared the March 15 settlement date to the February 28 settlement date and added additional color on each of these. By our count, the gains in short selling rose by a margin of 7-to-2.

Here we look at the following active cult low-priced stocks with their short interest reports: Alcatel-Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU), Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA).

Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw its short interest rise to 16.29 million shares in mid-March from 14.355 million shares at the end of February. This is the highest level of 2013.

Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE: GNW) has been challenging and surpassing that $10 price again, and short sellers upped their attack to 16.88 million shares short in mid-March, versus 14.69 million two weeks earlier. That is the highest short interest going back more than a year.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a real huge gain in the short selling to 40.49 million shares from 27.51 million shares short just two weeks earlier. It has been higher before, but that is the highest short interest of 2013.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) shares are trying to break out above $10 again, but the short sellers are really boosting their attacks. The short interest rose 14% to 83.5 million shares in mid-March. That is yet again another highest short interest reading going back a full year.

MGIC Investment Corp. (NYSE: MTG) saw its short interest rise a whopping 22% to 38.84 million shares in mid-March, against 29.35 million shares short in late-February. On a nominal basis, that is the highest short interest since last July.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) saw a 3.5% drop in the short interest but remains elevated. That was 326.6 million shares short in mid-March, versus 337.9 million shares short in late February.

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) saw its short interest pick up again, perhaps on downgrades and less hope from analysts. The short interest rose almost 5% to 35.336 million shares in mid-March, versus 33.76 million shares at the end of February. That is the highest short interest in this name for 2013.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) saw its short interest fall to 399.789 million shares as of March 15, down about 3.5% from the 414 million shares short at the end of February. There is little comment to add here.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) saw its third straight gain in the short selling activity, up almost 8% to 28.21 million shares in mid-March, versus 26.13 million shares short in late February. This was yet again the largest short interest since last July.

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