Short Sellers Don't Believe Low Crude Prices Will Last
Crude oil traded at around $52 a barrel early Wednesday. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for July delivery has dropped from a high of around $63 a barrel.
Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on four of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending May 31.
Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest drop by 14% to 16.47 million shares, which represents about 1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at two. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price decreased by about 6.8%. Its 52-week range is $100.22 to $128.55, and it closed at $121.17 on Tuesday, down about 0.9% for the day.
Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest fell by 7% to 34.45 million shares, or 0.8% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to May 31, the share price decreased by about 7.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.65 to $87.36, and it closed at $74.84 on Tuesday, down about 0.1% for the day. Days to cover remained unchanged at three.
BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a decrease of 15% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 0.1% of the total float, or 4.41 million American depositary shares, were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded down by about 2.5% over the period, and shares closed Tuesday at $42.34, up about 0.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $36.28 to $47.25.
ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest jumped by 18% in the two weeks to May 31. Some 9.15 million shares were short, representing about 0.8% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained unchanged at one, and the stock price fell by nearly 5% during the two-week period. Shares closed Tuesday at $58.73, down by about 0.9% for the day, in a 52-week range of $56.75 to $80.24.
Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, posted a drop of 20% in short interest during the period. Some 25.93 million shares were short as of May 31, about 0.7% of the total float. The stock closed at $15.52 on Tuesday, up by about 3% for the day, in a 52-week range of $9.02 to $17.90. Shares traded up by about 1.9% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained unchanged at about two.
Occidental Petroleum Corp.’s (NYSE: OXY) short interest rose by 19% to 32.78 million shares. Days to cover remained at three, and about 4.4% of the company’s shares were short. In the latter two weeks of May, the share price dropped by about 8.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.00 to $86.60, and shares closed Tuesday at $49.05, up by about 2.4% for the day.