Energy Business

Short Sellers Focus on Some Oil and Gas Stocks

Crude oil traded around $32.77 a barrel early Tuesday, up by about $8 a barrel over the past two weeks. The reopening of the economy, gradual though it may be, coupled with a greater demand for gasoline is pushing prices up.

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

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest fall by 6% to 21.3 million shares, which represents about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from two to one. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by 7.9%. Its 52-week range is $51.60 to $127.00, and it traded at $92.05 early Thursday.

Exxon Mobil Corp.’s (NYSE: XOM) short interest rose by 1.0% to 59.7 million shares, or about 1.4% of the company’s float. In the two weeks to May 15, the share price rose by about 4.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.11 to $77.93, and it traded at $45.75 on Thursday.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw an increase of 7% in short interest during the first half of May. About 0.4% of the total float, or 13.0 million American depositary shares, were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares traded up by 2.0% over the period, and the traded on Thursday at $23.55, in a 52-week range of $15.51 to $42.70.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest fell by 3.0% in the two weeks. Some 13.6 million shares were short, representing about 1.3% of the company’s total float. Days to cover dipped from two to one, and the stock price jumped by about 15.7% during the period. Shares traded Thursday at $44.25, in a 52-week range of $20.84 to $67.13.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR), or Petrobras, short interest rose by 3.0% during the two-week period. Some 47.2 million ADSs were short as of May 15, about 1.2% of the total float. They traded at $7.65 on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $4.01 to $16.95. Shares soared by around 20.0% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained at one.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest jump by 10.0% to 77.1 million shares. Days to cover remained at two, and about 1.1% of the company’s shares were short. In the first two weeks of May, the share price rose by about 5.2%. The stock’s 52-week range is $9.00 to $54.05, and shares traded Thursday at $14.05.