Autos

Short Sellers Raise Bets Against Nikola, Tesla, Other EV Stocks

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

Tesla Inc.’s (NYSE: TSLA) short interest rose by 11% during the latest two-week period. Short sellers hold 51.2 million shares (about 6.6% of Tesla’s total float). Days to cover remained at two, and the share price rose by about 10.6% in the reporting period. The stock’s 52-week range is $136.61 to $900.40 (split-adjusted), and it closed at $738.20 on Monday. Shares traded down by about 2% Tuesday morning, following Tesla’s first-quarter earnings release Monday evening.

The Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) short interest increased by 28% in the two weeks to April 15. About 51.7 million shares were short, representing about 28% of the company’s total float. Days to cover rose from three to four. Nikola’s share price fell by nearly 24% during the reporting period, and the stock currently trades down about 19% for the year to date. Its 52-week range is $9.37 to $93.99. Shares closed at $12.35 on Monday and traded up by about 1.5% Tuesday morning to $12.53.

Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) saw its short interest increase by 12% in the two-week period. About 73.4 million American depositary shares (ADS) were short, representing about 5.9% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at one. The stock’s 52-week range is $3.08 to $66.99, and shares closed Monday at $42.62. The stock traded up about 1% Tuesday morning, after dropping by about 8.5% during the two-week reporting period.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) short interest increased by 11% in the first half of April. Some 38.5 million shares were short, about 33% of the total float. The share price tumbled by nearly 15.5% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $13.23 on Monday and traded up by less than 1% Tuesday morning. The 52-week trading range is $2.27 to $42.96.

Li Auto Inc.’s (NASDAQ: LI) short interest soared by 34% in the two-week period. About 28.2 million ADSs were short, representing about 3.9% of the China-based company’s total float. The share price dropped by around 21.3% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $47.70, and shares closed at $20.81 on Monday. They traded up by less than 1% Tuesday morning.

Xpeng Inc. (NYSE: XPEV) had short interest of about 20.5 million shares, after falling by 13% in the two-week reporting period. Short sellers held about 4.3% of the company’s total float. Shares fell by 14% in the two weeks and closed at $33.00 on Monday, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $74.49. The stock traded up by less than 1% Tuesday morning.

Short interest at General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) rose by 11% in the reporting period. About 19.9 million GM shares were short, or about 1.5% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added 2% in the period and closed Monday at $58.21. The 52-week range is $20.12 to $63.44, and shares traded up by less than 1% Tuesday morning.

Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) short interest was 8% higher to about 89.4 million shares, or 2.3% of the total float. Days to cover rose from one to two. The stock price dropped by less than 1% in the two-week reporting period, and shares closed at $12.27 on Monday, in a 52-week range of $4.52 to $13.62. Shares traded up by less than 1% Tuesday morning.