More than 99.75 million Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) shares were sold short as of the most recent settlement date. Short interest increased more than 1% during the period to total 2.1% of the company’s float. Here too it was the greatest number of shares short in the past year. As of the latest settlement date, it would take more than five days to cover all short positions, a year-to-date high.
Last month, Intel unveiled its Core i9 processors at the Taiwan Computex trade show. Though the stock ended the short interest period more than 1% higher, that was after being down more than 1% at one point. The most recent close at $35.71 a share compares to a 52-week trading range of $30.44 and $38.45, and it is about 21% lower than at the beginning of the year.
Short interest at Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) totaled almost 78.10 million shares on May 31, which was up about 29% from the prior settlement date. That was the highest level of short interest in at least a year, and it represented 1.7% of the total float. At the posted average daily trading volume it would take about four days to cover all short positions.
This Philadelphia-based media giant saw a less than impressive debut for the film “Baywatch” from its Paramount division last month. Still, short sellers watched Comcast’s stock rise nearly 7% during those two weeks, though it was down more than 2% at one point. The most recent closing share price was $40.69, which is up less than 18% year to date. In the past year, the shares have traded between $30.02 and $42.18 apiece.
Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest of more than 73.62 million shares on the most recent settlement date was fractionally lower than in the previous period. That was the lowest number shares of short since March, and it was 22.1% of the total float. The daily average volume retreated between the settlement dates and the days to cover grew from around 14 to more than 18.
For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has bought batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $6.38 a share, in a 52-week trading range of $5.99 to $12.15. The share price ended the two-week short-interest period down more than 14%, though it has recovered a little since then. The stock is now more than 31% lower since the beginning of the year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Yahoo! Inc. (NASDAQ: YHOO), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP). All four saw gains in their short interest, led by a more than 25% surge in the number of Apple shares short to its highest level in at least year.
Lingering just outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks were BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) and Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA).