Short Sellers Lining Up Behind Higher Oil Prices

June 26, 2019 by Paul Ausick

Source: tentan / Getty Images
Crude oil traded at around $59 a barrel early Wednesday. Over the past month, the price of West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude for immediate delivery has recovered about $8 a barrel, but it remains well below a high of around $63 a barrel in mid-May.

Of the oil companies we watch, short interest rose on four of six stocks during the two-week reporting period ending June 14.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest rise by 8% to 18.02 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 increased by about 5.6%. Its 52-week range is $100.22 to $128.55, and it closed at $123.64 on Tuesday, down about 1% for the day.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s (NYSE: XOM) short interest rose by 2% to 35.13 million shares, or 0.8% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to June 14, the share price increased by about 5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $64.65 to $87.36, and it closed at $76.27 on Tuesday, down about 0.9% for the day. Days to cover remained unchanged at three.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a decrease of 6% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 0.1% of the total float, or 4.17 million American depositary shares, were short and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded up by about 0.3% over the two weeks, and shares closed Tuesday at $41.86, down about 0.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $36.28 to $47.25.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest fell by 5% in the two weeks to mid-June. Some 8.73 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 rose by a slight 0.2% during the period. Shares closed Tuesday at $59.77, down by about 1.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $56.75 to $80.24.

PetrĂ³leo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, posted a jump of 33% in short interest during the period. Some 34.59 million shares were short as of June 14, about 0.9% of the total float. The stock closed at $15.98 on Tuesday, down by about 3.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $9.71 to $17.90. Shares traded up by about 5.6% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained unchanged at about two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest rise by 15% to 38.2 million shares. Days to cover rose from three to four, and about 5.1% of the company’s shares were short. In the first two weeks of June, the share price dropped by about 0.8%. The stock’s 52-week range is $47.00 to $86.60, and shares closed Tuesday at $49.38, down by about 1% for the day.


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