Investing

The 5 Most-Heavily Shorted Nasdaq Stocks

Surges in short interest in Intel and Comcast between the October 15 and October 31 settlement dates made sure they remained near the top of the list of most shorted Nasdaq stocks. Otherwise, the period saw little movement among the most shorted.

The number of Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short decreased by about 5.69 million to around 240.50 million, which was 10.3% of the float. Short interest has shrunk in seven of the past eight periods, but it would still take about nine days to cover all short positions. Sirius reported net income and subscriber growth during the period. The stock’s price rose more than 5% in the two-week period and more than 3% since. Shares closed at $3.51 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $2.98 to $3.89.

A 49% surge in short interest lifted Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) to second place on the list. Some 204.40 million shares were short at the end of the period. That totaled 4.3% of the company’s float, and it was the greatest number of shares short since March. The days to cover rose to about six. UBS expected Intel to benefit from reduced volatility, and short sellers watched the share price rise almost 9% in the two-week period. Shares ended Tuesday at $33.31, in a 52-week range of $23.40 to $35.56, and up more than 28% year-to-date.

In the period when it lost business and residential customers, the short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) inched up a bit from the previous period to around 152.25 million shares, or 15.3% of the telecom’s float. That was the highest number of shares short since July. It would take more than 22 days to cover all short positions. Shares rose almost 11% in the two-weeks to October 31 but have been flat since. Shares closed at $6.50, in a 52-week range of $4.39 to $7.24.

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The number of Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) shares short jumped more than 25%, pushing it up the list of most shorted Nasdaq stocks. The more than 125.85 million shares short at the end of the month represent 5.9% of the float, the highest level of short interest in the past year. It would take almost eight days to cover all short positions. Comcast delivered solid earnings in October. The stock saw a 9% gain in the two-week period and closed at $52.96 Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $46.62 to $57.49. It is up less than 2% year-to-date.

Micron Technology Inc.’s (NASDAQ: MU) short interest, at around 103.54 million shares as of Halloween, was barely down from the previous period. And it was 9.7% of the total float. The days to cover rose to less than four. Micron’s share buybacks may signal its transition to a value stock. Shares closed Tuesday at $33.20, in a 52-week range of $18.42 to $34.85, and posted a share price gain of about 20% for the two-week short-interest period.

Rounding out the top 10 were BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ: MNKD). Short interest changes among them were mixed, but mild in the period.

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