An almost 18% surge in Apple shares sold short between the August 31 and September 15 settlement dates was the most notable move in among the most heavily shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq. Changes in short interest among the top six were otherwise mild, with Frontier Communications and Sirius XM holding on to the top spots.
Note that the five most shorted Nasdaq stocks all had more than 110,000 shares short by the middle of the month.
After rising nearly 8% in the previous period, the short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) saw another 2% or so gain to almost 172.46 million shares, or 14.9% of the telecom’s float, by mid-September. That was the highest number of shares short in at least a year. The days to cover remained more than seven. Frontier was a Jefferies value pick recently, and shares ended the short interest period nearly 5% higher, compared to a 1% gain for the Nasdaq. The share price now is around 28% lower year to date. The stock closed Thursday at $4.83, within a 52-week trading range of $4.19 to $8.46.
Reclaiming some of a 5% drop in the previous period, the number of Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short grew about 2% to around 155.41 million early in the month. That was 7.1% of the total float and the third highest level so far this year. At the current average daily volume, it would take more than six days to cover all short positions. At least one analyst has started coverage on Sirius recently. The share price ended the two-week period around 1% higher, but it has given up that gain since. Shares ended Thursday at $3.78, in a 52-week trading range of $3.14 to $4.04.
By the middle of the month, Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NASDAQ: AMD) had more than 131.36 million shares short, which was essentially the same as on the prior settlement date. The most recent reading totaled 20.8% of the company’s float. The days to cover rose to more than 12 as the average daily volume continued to cool from the highs of early summer. At least one analyst still sees big upside potential in AMD shares. The share price ended the two weeks about where it began, though at one point it was up nearly 12%. The stock closed at $1.72 on Thursday, and the 52-week range is $1.61 to $3.72.