The most shorted stock traded on the Nasdaq held on to its top spot on the list between the June 15 and June 30 as short sellers piled on. This big move came despite the sluggish growth of the economy and despite markets near all-time highs after a more than eight-year bull run.
There also were move big short interest swings at the bottom of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks as last month came to a close. Those included the largest broadcasting and cable television company in the world by revenue, a leading vaccine maker and an online coupon king.
Note that four Nasdaq stocks had more than 100 million shares short, as of the end of June. However, two of them remained very far ahead of the pack.
After rising in the previous three periods, the number of shares short in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) added another 10% or so to more than 327.24 million as of the most recent settlement date. That was well more than 25% of the telecom’s float, and also the first time in more than a year that more than 300 million shares were short. The daily average trading volume increased sharply, so the days to cover fell to almost 11 from less than eight.
Frontier shares were trading at 52-week lows during the period. Short sellers watched the share price drop more than 11%, though it had been up around 6% at one point early in the period. The stock closed most recently at $13.48 a share, after hitting a split-adjusted 52-week low of $13.30 earlier in the day. The split-adjusted 52-week high of $78.30 was seen almost a year ago.
The almost 247.39 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short by the end of June was less than 2% higher than on the previous settlement date. That was still the second lowest number of shares short so far this year, and it represented 16.6% of the total float. As the average daily volume retreated, the days to cover rose from less than nine, a year-to-date low, to more than 10.
Sirius recently said it would take a big stake in Pandora Media. The stock climbed more than 5% in the period, though it has given back much of the gain since then. The Nasdaq was down fractionally by the settlement date. The stock closed on Wednesday at $5.41 a share, near the 52-week high of $5.53 from back in March. The 52-week low of $4.05 was seen last summer.
By the end of last month, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had more than 145.10 million shares short. That was a reduction of more than 6% from the total on the previous settlement date, which was the highest level of short interest in at least a year. The most recent reading represented 17.2% of the company’s float. It would take less than two days to cover all short positions.
AMD was seen during the period as a rising threat to Intel. While the June 30 share price was more than 8% higher than on the previous settlement date, the shares had been up about 25% at one point in the interval. The stock closed at $14.29 on Wednesday, about 26% higher year to date. Shares have changed hands between $5.01 and $15.55 in the past year.