Between the October 15 and October 30 settlement dates, short interest declined in many of the most heavily shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq. Short sellers retreated from Apple especially, though not in sufficient numbers to allow it to drop out of the top six.
Those stocks at the top of the list, Frontier Communications and Sirius XM, bucked the trend, but just barely.
Note that the five most shorted Nasdaq stocks all had more than 100,000 shares short by the end of the month.
After gaining around 2% in the previous period, the short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) added another 1% to come in at more than 172.57 million shares by October 30. That was 14.9% of the telecom’s float. The days to cover rose to more than 13 as the average daily volume continued to dwindle. Frontier is a Merrill Lynch pick with a generous yield, but shares ended the short interest period nearly 3% lower. That compared to a more than 3% gain for the Nasdaq. The share price is down about 29% year to date. The stock closed Tuesday at $4.74, within a 52-week trading range of $4.19 to $8.46.
The 155.76 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short at the end of the month was essentially the same as in mid-October. That was 7.6% of the company’s float, as well as the second highest level of short interest year to date. At the current average daily volume, it would take more than four days to cover all short positions. Merrill Lynch liked Sirius after earnings. The share price ended the two-week period less than 3% higher, and it has climbed a bit more since. Shares ended Tuesday at $4.14, just a few cents shy of the recent 52-week high. The 52-week low of $3.27 was from last December.
MannKind Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MNKD) short interest, at around 120.02 million shares as of October 30, was down 3.2% from the prior settlement date. Note that though it was the fewest shares short since July, it still was approximately 46% of the total float. The days to cover dropped from about 29 to more than 19 as the average daily volume rose. Analysts continue to sour on MannKind. Short sellers watched the share price soar nearly 25% but give up most of that gain in late October. It is now down about 56% year to date at $2.30. Shares have changed hands between $2.20 and $7.88 in the past year.