Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) slips to the fourth spot on the list, though the number of shares short increased more than 1% in the latter two weeks of August. That was still one of the fewest seen since back in April. The more than 137.26 million shares reported most recently represented 14.1% of the total float. The days to cover reading ended the period at around 12.
Weatherford also is among the companies with the most layoffs seen this year. The company’s shares were less than 1% lower at the end of the two-week period, though they had been up nearly 3% at one point. The share price was last seen at $4.19. That was up from the multiyear low of $3.39 in early July, but handily less than the 52-week high of $7.09 from back in March.
Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) saw the number of its shares short rise less than 3% from the previous period, erasing most of the decline in the previous two periods. And note that the more than 136.74 million shares reported totaled 5.4% of the Chinese e-commerce giant’s float. The daily average volume increased again during the period, so the days to cover shrank from about nine to around five.
Alibaba posted strong quarterly results during the latest short interest period. The share price rose almost 9% in the latter half of August, though it retreated a little afterward. The stock closed most recently at $175.62 a share. That is about 100% higher year to date. The 52-week low of $86.01 was seen last December, and the 52-week high of $177.00 last month.
The number of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) shares short decreased a little more than 1%, taking a breather after increasing sharply in the previous two periods. Almost 124.23 million shares were short on the most recent settlement date. That represented 11.9% of the retailer’s total float. But the average daily trading volume fell to a 52-week low in the period, pushing up the days to cover to more than eight.
The stock has suffered since the merger deal with Walgreens turned sour. Though its shares ended the two weeks more than 4% higher, they were down about 4% early in the period. The stock closed most recently at $2.39 a share, which is still near the 52-week low of $2.21. Rite Aid shares hit a 52-week high of $8.77 early in the year.
And the Rest
Rounding out the top 10 were Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), CenturyLink Inc. (NYSE: CTL), General Electric Co. (NYSE: GE) and Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC). Here again, the short interest moves were mostly mild though mostly upward. GE bucked the trend with a modest decline in the number of its shares short.
Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S), Ensco Corp. (NYSE: ESV) and Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) lingered just beyond the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted NYSE stocks. Note that short interest in the latter two rose sharply, but not enough to lift them into the top 10 as of the end of last month.