Investing

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

The short interest data is out from the July 13 settlement date and we have compared these levels to the prior June 29 settlement date. It seems that there were some big changes with some key cult stocks and actively traded stocks seeing big changes in that time period.

24/7 Wall St. screened out selective short interest data with the latest changes from the following: Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI), LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) and Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI).

We have added in some selective color added if applicable:

Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw another drop despite weak earnings as the short interest fell to 15.485 million shares (ADRs) from to 21.34 million shares as of June 29. This is now down by almost half from the April 30 peak of 28.6 million shares.

Bank of America (NYSE: BAC) saw a marginal drop this month to 225.4 million shares short as of July 13 from 231 million as of June 29. This is still elevated from April-end ahead of the “Sell in May and go away!” trade, but it is down from the recent peak of 263.1 million shares at the end of May.

Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) saw another drop to 13.458 million shares short at July 13, down from 14.2 million at the end of June and down from almost 20 million shares short at the end of April.

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) saw a small uptick in the short interest to 38.18 million shares as of July 13, but that was after a 10% gain in the short interest in the prior report. This is the highest level in a year in total shares in the short interest and now represents a whopping 10 days to cover.

Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) saw yet another small drop in the short interest to 9.009 million shares in the July 13 settlement date’s short interest reading. Traders feel that the easy short-sale money has been made as this is the lowest reading going back to the end of September 2011.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is still very new but its gains in short interest may have peaked for the time being. The short interest actually fell to 56.71 million shares in the short interest. At the end of June we noted a 32.9% rise in the short interest to 60.15 million shares in the short interest. The short interest history was 45.2 million shares at June 15 settlement date versus 34 million shares short at the end of May. The item we would strongly note is that the days to cover was always 1 to 2 days, but now the days to cover is a whopping 4.7 days (rounded up).

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw another gain in the short interest to over 28 million shares as of July 13 versus 27.13 million shares at the end of June. That is the highest short interest on a nominal share count over what we have seen in months and months.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) saw another jump in the short interest as bets against the company are on the rise. The mid-July short interest rose to 29.59 million shares short versus 27.97 million shares at the end of June.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a big gain in the short interest — a real big gain. The short interest at July 13 was up to more than 37.8 million shares, versus 27.4 million shares short just at the end of June. This is a record and likely is due to more shares having come on the market, as well as an increased skepticism about the company’s prospects.

Human Genome Sciences Inc. (NASDAQ: HGSI) may just be a footnote now that its M&A is known. The short interest dropped to 16.48 million shares short at the July 13 settlement date and was the lowest reading in many months.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) saw another drop at the July 13 settlement date’s short interest. This was down to 4.8 million shares short from more than 5.1 million shares at the end of June and 5.6 million shares a month ago. The short interest peak for LinkedIn was over 7 million shares at the end of January.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) saw a small drop in the short interest, but that may have a lag when you consider that shares just got crushed after earnings. The short interest was 12.47 million shares short versus 12.7 million shares at the end of June.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) ticked back up, likely ahead of the dismal earnings. At July 13 the short interest was up to 165.59 million shares from 156.98 million at the end of June. While high, this is down from over 200 million shares short in April.

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) saw yet another gain in the short interest as its prospects continue to dim. The July 13 settlement date showed some 43.4 million shares short, versus 42.57 million shares short at the end of June. This now represents a whopping 14.5 days to cover.

Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) is referred to as the RIM deathwatch for a reason. RIM’s short interest grew yet again to 92.1 million shares short in mid-July, versus 85.4 million shares short at the end of June. That is the largest nominal short interest in well over a year.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) saw a decent pop in the short interest: 304.4 million shares short as of July 13 versus 289.9 million at the end of June. This is back to near-term highs in the short interest for Mel Karmazin and friends.

JON C. OGG

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