MannKind Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MNKD) short interest, at more than 101.61 million shares on February 15, was less than 2% higher than on the prior settlement date. That was the fourth time since last May that the number of shares short was more than 100 million, and it was 31.3% of the total float. The days to cover fell from about 29 to more than 21 during the period.
MannKind has been looking for ways to increase demand for its Afrezza. Shares ended the two weeks more than 24% lower, and they continued to retreat afterward. The stock is now almost 18% lower since the beginning of the year to $0.52. The 52-week low, hit in last November, is $0.41, and the 52-week high of $2.24 was seen almost a year ago.
More than 88.17 million Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. Short interest jumped more than 11% during the period to total 1.9% of the company’s float. Note that the number of shares short has topped 80 million only one other time since last May. As of the middle of February, it would take more than three days to cover all short positions.
Though analysts see Intel as a strong player in the cloud space, short sellers watched the shares pull back about 4% but recover about half that loss in the last couple of days of the period. The share price recovered a bit more since to $36.51 on Monday’s close. Shares have changed hands between $29.50 and $38.45 apiece in the past 52 weeks.
Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest of more than 74.95 million shares, as of the most recent settlement date, was up more than 1% from the previous period. And it was 22.3% of the total float, as well as the greatest number of shares short since last June. The daily average volume dropped again for the fourth period in a row, so the days to cover rose from almost 17 to more than 19.
For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has been buying batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $8.64, in a 52-week trading range of $7.99 to $12.15. The share price ended the two-week short-interest period slightly lower, though it was down more than 6% at one point. The stock it is now down around 7% since the beginning of the year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU). The big mover here was Groupon, with more than 12% gain and the fifth consecutive period of rising short interest. Note that the number of shares short in Micron shrank, but not by very much.
Beyond the top 10, Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO) and Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) all saw sharp increases in short interest as well, but not enough to lift them into the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks. Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) also is still lingering just outside the top 10.
In addition, the most shorted stocks traded on the New York Stock Exchange included Pfizer, Sprint and Bank of America.