Among the most heavily shorted stocks traded on the Nasdaq, the big mover between the May 13 and May 31 settlement dates was Apple. A surge in the number of the iPhone maker’s shares short lifted it back into the top five. Short interest swings in the others were more modest, and largely positive, though biopharmaceutical company MannKind did see a double-digit percentage decline in the most recently period, its second sharp drop in a row.
Note that only two of the most shorted Nasdaq stocks still had more than 100 million shares short by the end of the most recent period.
The nearly 201.53 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short by the end of last month was more than 3% higher than on the previous settlement date, and it was again the highest level of short interest in the past year. Some 11.3% of the company’s float was sold short. At the current average daily volume, it would take less than seven days to cover all short positions.
The Canadian unit of Sirius XM reportedly is going private. The Sirius XM share price ended the two-week period more than 3% higher, though it has retreated somewhat since. The stock ended Thursday at $3.99 a share, within a 52-week trading range of $3.29 to $4.20.
The 1% rebound in the previous period, after five periods in a row of shrinking short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR), picked up steam, rising another 3% or so to more than 142.86 million shares. That was 12.3% of the telecom’s float, as of the most recent settlement date. The days to cover jumped to more than 11 as the average daily volume sank to a year-to-date low.
UBS sees the industry as vulnerable in a rising rate environment. Shares ended the short interest period down less than 2%, although it was down about 7% at one point. The Nasdaq gained almost 5% in that time. The share price now still is more than 9% higher year to date and closed most recently at $5.12, within a 52-week range of $3.81 to $5.85.