Energy Business

Short Sellers Disagree on Direction in Oil and Gas Stocks

Crude oil traded around $14.25 a barrel early Monday, down by nearly 16% over the past five trading sessions. The global economy continues to be stymied by the coronavirus pandemic, and booming crude production may soon run out of tanks to hold the oil.

Of the companies we watch, short interest decreased on three of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending April 15.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest jump by 21% to 20.06 million shares, which represents about 1.07% of the company’s float. Days to cover slipped from two to one. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by more than 20%. Its 52-week range is $51.60 to $127.00, and it closed at $87.01 on Friday, up about 0.24% for the day.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s (NYSE: XOM) short interest declined by 10.0% to 59.28 million shares, or about 1.4% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to April 15, the share price rose by about 15.17%. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.11 to $80.53 and it closed at $43.73 on Friday, up about 0.6% for the day.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a decrease of 48% in short interest during the two-week period. About 0.27% of the total float, or 9.04 million American depositary shares (ADS), were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded down by 4.1% over the period, and shares closed roughly flat Friday at $23.39, in a 52-week range of $15.51 to $44.00.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest rose by 18% in the first two weeks of April. Some 16.17 million shares were short, representing about 1.4% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at two, and the stock price rose by 17.18% during the period. Shares closed Friday at $36.09, down about 0.25%, in a 52-week range of $20.84 to $67.13.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, saw short interest rise by 1.0% during the two-week period. Some 42.38 million ADSs were short as of April 15, which is about 1.1% of the total float. Petrobras closed at $5.66 on Friday in a 52-week range of $4.01 to $16.95. It traded up by around 2.91% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained at one.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) had short interest dip by 5.0% to 73.57 million shares. Days to cover remained at three, and about 2.1% of the company’s shares were short. In the initial two weeks of April, the share price rose by 19.26%. Its 52-week range is $9.00 to $60.73, and shares closed Friday at $13.81, down about 0.43% for the day.

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