Investing

The 6 Most Shorted Nasdaq Stocks

Opko Health

Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest decreased almost 5% from in the previous period to more than 72.69 million shares on the most recent settlement date. That was the fewest shares short since back in January, and it was 22.0% of the total float. The daily average volume reached a multi-month high during the two weeks, and the days to cover number dropped from more than 13 to around 11.

For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has bought batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $6.88 a share, in a 52-week trading range of $5.85 to $12.15. During the two-week short-interest period, the share price increased around 15%. However, it has been relatively flat in the past week and is still more than 9% lower than it was six months ago.

Mattel

Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) saw the number of its shares short grow by more than 15 million by the end of the month. The more than 63.07 million shares reported represented 18.5% of the toymaker’s total float. Note that short interest has been on the rise since June and as of the latest settlement date is the highest it has been in the past year. At the posted average daily trading volume, it would take about six days to cover all short positions.

Toy and game retailer Toys “R” Us declared bankruptcy during the settlement period. In the final two weeks of the month, Mattel stock tumbled more than 8% but recovered to end down less than 3%. Shares rose a little more afterward. Tuesday’s closing share price was $15.51, which is still down about 39% in the past six months. In the past year, the shares have traded between $14.35 and $33.23 apiece.

Synergy Pharmaceuticals

Short interest at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) totaled almost 62.73 million shares on September 29, which was around 6% lower than on the prior settlement date. That represented a whopping 28.0% of the total float and was the smallest number of shares short seen since July. The days to cover rose from near nine to more than 14 during the latest period as the average daily volume dwindled.

This biopharmaceutical company is focused on treatments for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Short sellers watched the stock sink almost 5% but then jump back into the black at the end of those two weeks. The most recent closing share price was $3.35, which is about 23% lower than six months ago. The shares have traded hands between $2.56 and $7.15 apiece in the past year.

And Others

Rounding out the top 10 were Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Cisco Systems Inc. (NASDAQ: CSCO), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) and Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX). Among these, Novavax saw a double-digit percentage decline in its short interest, while the others had the number of their shares short rise, led by Micron.

Lingering just outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks were Ascena Retail Group Inc. (NASDAQ: ASNA), BlackBerry Ltd. (NASDAQ: BBRY), Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Oclaro Inc. (NASDAQ: OCLR).

Note that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) continued to slip well out of the top 10 during the period, as it has since the new iPhones and Apple Watch were introduced.