Short Sellers Jump on Electric Vehicle Stocks

Short interest moves among automakers’ stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on December 31. Of the companies we watch, short interest increased on five of six electric vehicle (EV) makers and fell on both of the traditional carmakers.

Tesla Inc.’s (NYSE: TSLA) short interest soared by 34% for the latest two-week period. Short sellers hold 60.6 million shares of Tesla stock. Days to cover rose from one to two. The share price increased by more than 11% in the reporting period. The stock’s 52-week range is $70.10 to $884.49 (split-adjusted), and it closed at $849.44 on Tuesday. Shares traded down about 1.4% Wednesday morning.

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) short interest increased by 8.8% in the two weeks to December 31. About 54.4 million shares were short, representing nearly 37% of the company’s total float. Days to cover slipped to three. Nikola’s share price fell by 7.4% during the reporting period. The stock’s post-IPO range is $10.29 to $93.99. Shares closed at $18.72 on Tuesday and surged by about 16.4% Wednesday morning to $21.78.

Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) saw its short interest fall by 19% in the final two weeks of December. Days to cover remained at one. The stock’s 52-week range is $2.11 to $66.99, and shares closed Tuesday at $62.04. The stock traded up about 1.3% Wednesday morning (after gaining about 12% during the two-week reporting period). Nio priced a $1.5 billion convertible debt offering Wednesday morning.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) had short interest increase by 14% in the two-week period. Some 34.8 million shares were short, about 31% of the total float. The share price fell by about 9.5% in the period, and the stock closed at $25.02 on Tuesday. It traded up by more than 1% Wednesday morning. The 52-week trading range is $1.32 to $30.99.

Li Auto Inc.’s (NASDAQ: LI) short interest increased by more than 19% in the period. About 15.6 million American depositary shares were short, representing about 3.4% of the China-based company’s total float. The share price dropped by more than 10% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $47.70, and shares closed at $36.75 on Tuesday. The stock traded down about 5.1% Wednesday morning.

Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) short interest totaled 19.2 million shares, up about 13% in the reporting period. Short sellers hold about 4.1% of the company’s total float. Shares tumbled by about 13.5%, in the two weeks and closed at $54.30 on Tuesday, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $74.49. The stock traded down by about 5.9% Wednesday morning.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) had short interest decrease by 7% in the reporting period. About 15.7 million GM shares were short, or about 1.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares traded essentially flat in the two-week period and closed Tuesday at $47.82. The 52-week range is $14.33 to $48.95, and the high was posted Tuesday. The stock traded up about 1.8% Wednesday morning.

Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) short interest decreased by 2% to 97.3 million shares, or about 2.5% of the total float. Days to cover remained at two. The stock price fell by nearly 4% in the two-week reporting period and closed at $9.78 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range is $3.96 to $9.82. The high was posted Tuesday. Shares traded up fractionally on last look.

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