Opko Health Inc.’s (NASDAQ: OPK) short interest slipped by less than 690,000 from in the previous period to more than 76.09 million shares on the most recent settlement date. That was the third greatest level of short interest so far this year, and it represented 23.4% of the total float. The daily average trading volume dwindled, and the days to cover figure grew from almost 14 to a year-to-date high near 23.
Opko’s CEO was among those charged by the SEC this week in a so-called pump-and-dump scheme. The stock dropped over 20% to $4.58 before trading was halted on the Nasdaq. The 52-week trading range is $2.66 to $7.24. By the end of the two-week short-interest period, the share price was more than 12% higher, though it had been up nearly 15% at one point.
Comcast Corp.’s (NASDAQ: CMCSA) short interest increased about 19% in the latest period to the second highest level so far this year. The more than 74.01 million shares on the most recent settlement date represented 1.6% of the total float. The year-to-date high was more than 86 million shares short back in January. Also note that the latest days to cover figure was up to more five as the average daily volume shrank handily.
Though Comcast may have lost out on gaining 21st Century Fox assets, it said recently it still will carry the Fox Big Ten Network. Comcast’s share price ended the latest two-week period more than 5% higher but retreated somewhat afterward. The stock closed most recently at $36.09 per share, which is up more than 11% from 90 days ago. Shares have traded between $30.43 and $44.00 apiece in the past year.
Short interest at Neovasc Inc. (NASDAQ: NVCN) totaled more than 72.60 million shares by the end of the month, after pulling back about 7% from the prior settlement date. That was the sixth period in a row in which the number of shares sold short shrank. The days to cover jumped from about five to a year-to-date high over nine during the latest period to as the average daily volume tumbled.
Nasdaq has begun the process of delisting this Canadian cardiovascular device maker. Short sellers watched the stock rise more than 9% (less than a penny per share) in those two weeks, most of that gain at the end of the period. The most recent closing share price was just above the 52-week low of $0.03. Shares are around 95% (about 58 cents) lower year to date and so don’t appear to have much further to sink. The stock has traded as high as $1.89 a share in the past year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Geron Corp. (NASDAQ: GERN) TherapeuticsMD Inc. (NASDAQ: TXMD) and Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT). Intel was the standout here, with a double-digit percentage drop in the number of its shares short, allowing it to slip out of the top six in those two weeks. Mattel saw a marginal decline, while the others saw modest bumps in their short interest in that time.
Lingering outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq again were MiMedx Group Inc. (NASDAQ: MDXG) and Synergy Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ: SGYP). Note that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) saw a double-digit percentage gain in its short interest, but it remains well outside of the top 10.