Energy Business

Oil and Gas Short Sellers Seek Direction

Crude oil traded around $47.20 a barrel Thursday morning, up by about $1.70 (about 3.7%) a barrel over the past week. The price of crude had traded between about $45.20 and $46.50 for the past week.

Of the companies we watch, short interest increased on three of six energy stocks during the two-week reporting period ending November 30.

Chevron Corp. (NYSE: CVX) saw short interest rise by 12% to 16.5 million shares, which represents about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose by about 6.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $51.60 to $122.72, and it closed at $90.44 on Wednesday.

Exxon Mobil Corp. (NYSE: XOM) short interest dropped by 7% to 47.4 million shares, or about 1.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two weeks to November 30, the share price rose by 5.7%. The 52-week trading range is $30.11 to $71.37, and shares closed at $42.80 on Wednesday.

BP PLC (NYSE: BP) saw a drop of 20% in short interest during the two-week period. About 0.2% of the total float, or 6.5 million American depositary shares, were short, and days to cover remained at one. The company’s shares rose by about 4% over the period, and they closed Wednesday at $21.90, in a 52-week range of $14.74 to $40.08.

ConocoPhillips (NYSE: COP) short interest increased by 12% in the latter half of November. Some 38.8 million shares were short, representing about 3.6% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained at four, and the stock price rose by nearly 12% during the two weeks. Shares closed Wednesday at $42.70, in a 52-week range of $20.84 to $67.13.

Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. (NYSE: PBR) short interest fell by 22% during the two-week period. Some 26.4million ADSs were short as of November 30, about 0.7% of the total float. Petrobras closed at $10.56 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $4.01 to $16.30. It added 12.2% in the two-week short interest period, and days to cover remained at two.

Occidental Petroleum Corp. (NYSE: OXY) saw short interest increase by 2% to 35.3 million shares. Days to cover remained at two, and about 3.7% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to November 30, the share price jumped by more than 33%. The stock’s 52-week range is $8.52 to $47.58, and shares closed Wednesday at $19.39.