Investing

The 6 Most Shorted Nasdaq Stocks

Opko Health

Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest increased more than 4% from in the previous period to more than 76.18 million shares on the most recent settlement date. That was the second greatest number of shares short since the beginning of the year, as well as 22.9% of the total float. The daily average volume increased between the settlement dates, dropping the days to cover number from a little more than 19 to about 17.

For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has bought batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $6.30 a share, in a 52-week trading range of $5.85 to $12.15. During the two-week short-interest period, the share price dropped more than 5%, though it recovered a bit afterward. The stock now is more than 25% lower than it was six months ago.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals

Short interest at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) totaled 63.27 million shares or so on August 15, which was more than 5% higher than on the prior settlement date. It represented a whopping 28.2% of the total float and was the greatest number of shares short since April. The days to cover tumbled from less than 22 to around 10 during the latest period as the average daily volume jumped.

This biopharmaceutical company is focused on treatments for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Short sellers watched the stock retreat more than 25% during those two weeks to a new 52-week low of $2.85. The most recent closing share price was $3.05, which is more than 44% lower than six months ago. The shares hit a 52-week high of $7.15 at the end of January.

Delcath Systems

In every period since February, the number of Delcath Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: DCTH) shares short has increased. Short interest totaled more than 59.97 million shares on the latest settlement date. That was a more than 41% jump from two weeks earlier, and it represented 12.0% of the total float. Note that less than 400,000 shares were short at the beginning of the year. At the most recent average daily trading volume, it would take a little more than a day to cover all short positions.

This interventional oncology company filed for a reverse stock split during the period. Short sellers watched the stock drop more than 28% but then end the period about 3% higher. The shares rose more afterward and closed most recently at $0.12 apiece. That is down more than 86% year to date. The 52-week trading range is $4.31 to $0.01.

And Others

Rounding out the top 10 were Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU), Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX), Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR) and Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA). The standout among these was Comcast, with a more than 9% drop in the number of its shares short.

Another surprise move was an almost 14% surge in the short interest in Seagate Technology PLC (NASDAQ: STX), though it fell just short of landing in the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks. Others just beyond the spotlight of the top 10 were Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) and Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO).

Note that short interest in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) again rose somewhat, but it still remains well outside the list of the top 10.