Autos

Short Sellers Pump the Brakes on Tesla, Hit the Gas on Ford, GM

Short interest moves among automakers’ stocks were mostly lower during the two-week reporting period that ended on January 15. Of the companies we watch, short interest decreased on four of six electric vehicle (EV) makers and rose on both of the traditional carmakers.

Tesla Inc.’s (NYSE: TSLA) short interest fell by 7% for the latest two-week period. Short sellers held 56.4 million shares of the stock. Days to cover remained at two, and the share price increased by more than 17%. The stock’s 52-week range is $70.10 to $900.40 (split-adjusted), and shares traded down about 2.4% Thursday morning to $843.79.

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) short interest decreased by 3.3% in the two weeks to January 15. About 52.6 million shares were short, representing nearly 36% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at three. The share price rose by more than 29% during the reporting period. The stock’s post-IPO range is $10.34 to $93.99, and shares traded down by more than 12% Thursday morning to $24.91.

Short interest in Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) rose by about 1% in the two-week period. Days to cover remained at one. The stock’s 52-week range is $2.11 to $66.99, and the American depositary shares (ADSs) traded up by 2.1% Thursday morning to $58.27, after gaining more than 15% during the short interest reporting period.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) saw its short interest dip by 3% in the two-week period. Some 33.7 million shares were short, about 30% of the total float. The share price rose by about 18% in the period, and the stock traded up by fractionally to $34.92 Thursday morning. Its 52-week range is $1.32 to $40.45.

Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) had short interest slip by more than 2% in the first half of January. About 15.2 million ADSs were short, representing about 3.4% of the China-based company’s total float. The stock rose by around 13% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $47.70, and the stock traded barely higher Thursday morning to $31.57.

Xpeng Inc.’s (NYSE: XPEV) short interest totaled 21.4 million shares last week, which was up about 11% from the prior settlement date. Short sellers held about 4.5% of the company’s total float. Shares rose by nearly 12% in the two weeks and traded up by about 1.4% Thursday morning to $50.58, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $74.49.

The General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) short interest increase in the reporting period ended January 15 was by 19%. About 18.7 million GM shares were short, or about 1.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares traded up 20% in the period and were up about 2.5% Thursday morning to $50.56. The 52-week range is $14.33 to $56.97.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) had its short interest decrease by 4% to 93.4 million shares, or about 2.4% of the total float. Days to cover remained at two. The stock price rose by nearly 12% in the two-week reporting period. The 52-week range is $3.96 to $12.15, and shares traded up about 1% Thursday morning to $10.90.