Investing

Short Interest Changes in Cult Stocks & Controversial Stocks (ALU, STD, BAC, BKS, DNDN, DMND, FSLR, GMCR, GRPN, HGSI, LNKD, NFLX, RSH, RIMM, SIRI, FB)

Source: Jon Ogg
The short interest data is out using the May 31 settlement date.  As the market dropped so much in May, it is an interesting look to see what short sellers did in the active cult and widely held controversial stocks.

24/7 Wall St. screened out selective short interest data with the latest changes from the settlement date of April 30, 2012 versus the prior April 13, 2012 in shares of the following: Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU); Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD); Bank of America Corporation (NYSE: BAC); Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS); Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN); Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND); First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR); Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR); Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN); Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI); LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD); Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX); RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH); Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM); and Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI).

This month also includes the debut of the short interest of Facebook, Inc. (NASDAQ: FB).  The short interest was 34.01 million shares as of the May 31 settlement date.  Morgan Stanely has since started to lend shares out to short sellers.

After seeing this trend, the “Sell in May and go away!” theme had some very mixed trends.  The short interest changes are for the May 31 settlement date versus the May 15 settlement dates, with selective color added if applicable:

Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw another rise in the short interest to 21.07 million shares at the end of May and that was up over 16% from mid-May after having come down after short sellers locked in profits after the earnings botch.

Banco Santander, S.A. (NYSE: STD) is not one of our usual short interest names but the Spain bailout highlights this one… The short interest was down 5.3% at the end of May to 23.195 million shares short.  This is still active considering the most recent news out of Europe.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) saw a massive short interest gain with 263.18 million shares in the short interest at the end of May.  This is up 74% from the 150.7 million shares short in mid-May and versus 142.3 million shares short at the end of April.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) saw a small decrease in its short interest based on lower activist involvement.  The short interest was down 3.7% to 15.45 million shares.  This short interest was 19.768 million shares at the end of April.

Dendreon Corporation (NASDAQ: DNDN) hardly budged in its short interest, which is surprising considering that the end of May was immediately ahead of the key ASCO annual meeting which is often a key new generator for cancer biotech stocks.  The drop was -0.4% to 33.1 million shares in the short interest as of the end of May.

Diamond Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) is still a battleground stock but its short interest appears to have already peaked.  The end of May showed a drop of 4% in the short interest to 10.4 million shares and that is down from 11.48 million shares short ta the end of April.  Too bad that the short sellers may have missed the potential delisting news this week.

First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short sellers continue to get out of the way now that the drop has been so massive.  The end of May saw a short interest drop of 10.7% to 21.61 million shares in the short interest.  This was 23.7 million shares in its short interest just at the end of April.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters, Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) saw a small drop in the short interest with -3.2% in the short interest at 23.56 million shares at the end of May.  This is far lower in short selling activity from last year’s more active short selling peak.

Groupon, Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a double-digit gain of 13.5% to 23.51 million shares in its short interest at the end of May.  This was the second rise in a row and is up from 17.427 million shares short at the end of April.

Human Genome Sciences, Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) saw a big drop as short sellers again got out of the way.  The end of May short interest was down almost 14% to 19.71 million shares and that is down from over 46.4 million shares short if you go back to mid-April.

LinkedIn Corporation (NYSE: LNKD) saw a large gain in the short interest ahead of another lock-up ending. The end of May short interest was up 18.3% to 5.468 million shares.

Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) is back in the interest of short sellers with the gains in the end of May’s short interest rising another 15% to 13.24 million shares short.

Nokia Corporation (NYSE: NOK) appears to be continuing to show that short sellers have taken their profits.  The end of May short interest was down 17.5% to 154.4 million shares and that compares to 195.14 million shares in the short interest at the end of April.

RadioShack Corporation (NYSE: RSH) saw just a small rise of 3.4% at the end of May’s short interest to 35.599 million shares.  The short sellers have been winning and the short interest had been growing but has since seemed to hit a plateau.

Research in Motion Limited (NASDAQ: RIMM) may still be down and out, and it saw a small gain of 5.2% in the short interest at the end of May to 66.789 million shares short.  This had been previously gotten as low as 53.7 million shares short at the end of April.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) saw a slight gain of 4.2% in the short interest to 306.5 million shares short at the end of May. This may reflect the Liberty/Malone efforts and the short interest is now back up close to the 300+ million shares short in mid-March.

JON C. OGG

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