Energy Business

Oil and Gas Short Sellers Still Getting Help From Low Oil Prices

Crude oil traded around $40 a barrel early Monday, up by about $0.60 a barrel over the past week. Trading remains in a narrow range right around $40 a barrel, where it’s been stuck for nearly four months.

Of the companies we watch, short interest increased on four of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending September 30. Share prices decreased on all six stocks during the period.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest drop by 7% to 19.5 million shares, which represents about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from three to two. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price dropped by about 5.7%. Its 52-week range is $51.60 to $122.94, and shares closed at $74.00 on Friday, down by about 1.6% for the day.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest rose by 6% to 44.8 million shares, or about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two weeks to September 30, the share price fell by 5.4%. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.11 to $73.12, and it closed at $34.74 on Friday, down by about 1.5% for the day.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a rise of 1% in short interest during the latter half of September. About 0.2% of the total float, or 6.5 million American depositary shares (ADSs), were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares tumbled by about 11.2% over the period, and they closed down by about 0.7% Friday at $17.36, in a 52-week range of $15.51 to $40.08.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest soared by 21% in the two weeks to September 30. Some 10.9 million shares were short, representing about 1% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at two, and the stock price fell by about 2.8% during the period. Shares closed Friday at $35.13, down by about 1.1%, in a 52-week range of $20.84 to $67.13.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR) short interest jumped by 29% during the two-week period. Some 23.3 million ADSs were short as of September 30, about 0.6% of the total float. They closed at $7.25 on Friday, in a 52-week range of $4.01 to $16.84. Petrobras plunged by nearly 14% in the two-week short interest period, and days to cover rose from one to two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest drop by 7% to 46.3 million shares. Days to cover remained at two, and about 5% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to September 30, the share price fell by about 6.5%. The 52-week range is $9.00 to $47.58, and shares closed Friday at $10.82, down by about 3.2% for the day.