Autos

Short Sellers Still Pulling Back From Tesla, Traditional Automakers

Short interest moves among automakers’ stocks were mostly lower during the two-week reporting period that ended on February 26. Of the companies we watch, short interest decreased on three of six electric vehicle (EV) makers and on both of the traditional carmakers.

Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) short interest fell by 8% during the latest period. Short sellers hold 44 million shares (about 5.72% of Tesla’s total float). Days to cover remained at two, and the share price decreased by more than 17% in the reporting period. The stock’s 52-week range is $70.10 to $900.40 (split-adjusted), and it closed at $673.58 on Tuesday. Shares traded up by about 3.5% shortly after Wednesday’s opening bell.

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) short interest dropped by 5% in the final two weeks of February. About 30.6 million shares were short, representing about 19% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at two. Nikola’s share price fell by about 17% during the reporting period, and the stock currently trades about flat for the year to date. The stock’s post-IPO range is $10.34 to $93.99. Shares closed at $15.85 on Tuesday and traded up by around 1.2% Wednesday morning at $16.05.

The Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) short interest fell by 6% in the period ending February 26. About 48.1 million American depositary shares (ADSs) were short, representing about 4.3% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at one. The stock’s 52-week range is $2.11 to $66.99, and shares closed Tuesday at $41.35. The stock traded up by around 7% Wednesday morning, after dropping by 23.5% during the two-week reporting period.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) saw short interest soar by 49% in the most recent period. Some 28.2 million shares were short, nearly 25% of the total float. The share price plunged by about 55% in those two weeks, and the stock closed at $16.35 on Tuesday and traded up by 1.3% Wednesday morning. Its 52-week range is $1.32 to $42.96. Workhorse did not win a contract in late February for new USPS delivery vans, and one Ohio senator is demanding more information on the stock award.

Li Auto Inc.’s (NASDAQ: LI) short interest jumped by 27% in the two-week period. About 17.7 million ADSs were short, representing about 2.5% of the China-based company’s total float. The share price tumbled by more than 20% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $47.70, and shares closed at $23.08 on Tuesday. The stock traded up nearly 6% Wednesday morning.

Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) short interest totaled about 30.1 million shares last week, up 14% in the two-week reporting period. Short sellers held about 6.5% of the company’s total float. Shares plunged by more than 27% in the two weeks and closed at $29.97 on Tuesday, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $74.49. The stock traded up by about 8% Wednesday morning.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) had its short interest drop by 19% in the latter half of February. About 16.2 million GM shares were short, or about 1.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares dipped by more than 4% in the period, and they closed Tuesday at $54.65. The 52-week range is $14.33 to $57.05, and shares traded up about 3.2% Wednesday morning.

Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) short interest slipped by 2% to 73.9 million shares, or about 1.9% of the total float. Days to cover remained at one. The stock price rose by about 2.2% in the two-week reporting period, and shares closed at $12.57 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $3.96 to $12.98. That new high was posted Wednesday morning. Shares traded up by about 2.3% early Wednesday.