Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) short interest jumped about 12% in the latest period to its second-highest level since the beginning of the year. The approximately 68.60 million shares on the most recent settlement date represented 1.5% of the total float. Also note that the days to cover figure rose to about three as the average daily volume shrank somewhat. The year-to-date high was more than 86 million shares short back in January.
There has been some speculation that Comcast could benefit from the upcoming midterm elections. Its share price ended the latest two-week period about 3% lower, and it has been relatively flat since them. The stock closed most recently at $33.35 per share. That is down almost 19% since the beginning of the year. Its 52-week trading range is $32.74 to $44.00.
Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest increased more than 2% from in the previous period to almost 66.70 million shares on the most recent settlement date. That was the greatest level of short interest so far this year, and it represented 20.4% of the total float. At the latest daily average trading volume, a year to date low, the days to cover figure was more than 16.
For well more than a year, the CEO frequently has bought batches of Opko shares. The stock closed most recently at $3.00 a share, in a 52-week trading range of $2.66 to $7.90. By the end of the two-week short-interest period, the share price was a more than 5% lower, despite being up about 5% at one point. The stock currently is down more than 39% since the beginning of the year.
Short interest at Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP) totaled more than 61.44 million shares by the middle of this month, after a gain of around a million from the prior settlement date. That represented 25.0 % of the total float, and it ended four periods in a row of shrinking short interest. The days to cover rose from around 15 to about 17 during the latest period as the average daily volume decreased.
This biopharmaceutical company is focused on treatments for constipation and irritable bowel syndrome. Short sellers watched the stock climb more than 8% but then end those two weeks with a gain of less than 2%. The most recent closing share price was $1.66, after hitting a 52-week low of $1.64 earlier in the day. Shares are more than 32% lower year to date. The stock has traded as high as $4.84 a share in the past year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT), TherapeuticsMD Inc. (NASDAQ: TXMD), Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX). The moves among these four were mixed and marginal. Nevertheless, Apple returned to the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks after falling from the list in late March.
Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) slipped from the list this time due to a double-digit percentage decline in the number of its shares short. But note that a big jump in short interest almost put Caesars Entertainment Corp. (NASDAQ: CZR) in the top 10. Along with Caesars and Micron, Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (NASDAQ: MRVL) lingered outside the spotlight of the top 10.