More than 92.28 million Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. Short interest fell about 1% during the period to total 2.0% of the company’s float. Note that it was still the second greatest number of shares short in at least a year. As of the middle of the month, it would take more than four days to cover all short positions.
Intel saw an analyst upgrade just ahead of the latest short interest period, and its share price ended the two weeks more than 2% lower. It has bounced back a little since and is now up less than 2% since the beginning of the year. The most recent close at $36.87 a share compares to a 52-week trading range of $29.50 and $38.45.
Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest of more than 74.98 million shares on the most recent settlement date was up less than 2% from the previous period. And it was 22.4% of the total float, as well as the sixth consecutive period with more than 70 million shares short. The daily average volume retreated to about half of what it was in mid-March, so the days to cover rose to a year-to-date high more than 20.
For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has bought batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $7.83 a share, in a 52-week trading range of $7.11 to $12.15. The share price ended the two-week short-interest period more than 4% lower, most of that drop coming in the first couple of days of the month. The stock is now down almost 16% since the beginning of the year.
Short interest at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) totaled more than 65.10 million shares on April 13, or up almost 5% from the prior settlement date. That was by far the highest level of short interest in at least a year, and it was a whopping 30.2% of the total float. The days to cover slipped from less than eight to more than nine during the period.
This biopharmaceutical company is focused on treatments for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Short sellers watched the stock sink more than 12% but the recover most of that ground during those two weeks. The most recent closing share price was $4.21, which is down almost 31% from the beginning of the year. The 52-week trading range is $2.62 to $7.15.
Rounding out the top 10 were BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA). BlackBerry was the standout in this group, with a double-digit percentage rise in the number of its shares short in those two weeks. On the other hand, short interest in Novavax and Comcast was essentially flat.
Lingered just beyond the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) saw little change in the period. Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) were there too, just outside the spotlight of the top 10.
Optical components maker Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) continued its run toward the top 10 and could be there soon if short sellers keep piling on.
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