After piling on Apple in the previous period, short sellers appeared to change their minds in the heart of the holiday shopping season. Its short interest plunged again between the November 30 and December 15 settlement dates, while moves in the rest of the most heavily shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq were modest and mostly positive.
Note that the four most shorted Nasdaq stocks all had more than 100,000 shares short by the middle of the month.
After rising around 4% in the previous period, the short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) added more than 4% more to come in at around 170.65 million shares by mid-December. That was 14.7% of the telecom’s float. The days to cover dropped to less than 13 as the average daily volume increased. Frontier received final approval of its Verizon asset purchase in December, and shares ended the short interest period more than 9% lower. That compared to a less than 3% drop for the Nasdaq. The share price is down more than 26% year to date. The stock closed most recently at $4.86, within a 52-week trading range of $4.19 to $8.46.
The nearly 155.70 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short in the middle of the month was up more than 4% from the previous settlement date. That was 7.6% of the company’s float. The year-to-date peak short interest of more than 160 million was back in August. At the current average daily volume, it would take more than five days to cover all short positions. Sirius signed a new deal with Howard Stern in early December. The share price ended the two-week period less than 2% lower than where it began, despite being down more than 4% at one point. Shares ended Thursday at $4.08, in a 52-week range of $3.31 to $4.20.
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