Investing

The 6 Most Shorted NYSE Stocks

Weatherford International

Weatherford International PLC (NYSE: WFT) again finds itself in the top six on the list after the number of its shares sold short increased 7% or so in the first two weeks of this month. The stock was at number 10 on the list a month earlier. The more than 130.35 million shares reported most recently represented 13.2% of the total float. The days to cover reading ended the two weeks at around five, given the last seen average daily volume.

During the short interest period, Weatherford sank to a new 52-week low. Short sellers watched the share price fall more than 36% by mid-month and some more since then. The stock closed most recently at $0.64 a share, about a penny more than the 52-week low hit earlier in the day. The 52-week high, from last January, was $4.41. Now the stock is down 50% or so from three months ago.

Snap

Dropping from the top spot on the list in the latest period was Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP), which saw the number of its shares short retreat more than 9% in the first two weeks of November. The over 130.04 million shares reported most recently still represented 22.7% of the social media and camera company’s total float. At the daily average trading volume at the middle of this month, it would take about eight days for investors to cover all short positions.

The company posted a disappointing quarterly report last month. Shares dropped about 15% afterward but ended the latest settlement period with a gain of less than 3%. They pulled back some more afterward, and the share price was last seen at $6.40. That compares to the 52-week low of $5.77 reached during the short interest period. The 52-week high, hit early this year, was $21.22 a share. The stock now is down more than 45% in the past 90 days.

Rite Aid

After the reported number of Rite Aid Corp. (NYSE: RAD) shares sold short tumbled more than 21 million in the previous period, they pulled back another 17 million or so to over 123.72 million between the most recent settlement dates, declining for the third period in a row. The most recent figure was 11.7% of the company’s total float, as well as more than 60 million less than the highest level of short interest so far this year. The average daily trading volume increased during the period, and the days to cover figure fell from about 13 to 12.

Rite Aid’s recent stockholders meeting resulted in the naming of a new board chair. The share price ended the latest settlement period only fractionally higher, despite being up more than 14% at one point during the two weeks. This past week, the stock slipped more than 3%, while the S&P 500 rose around 1%. The stock closed most recently at $1.10 a share, compared with the 52-week low of $0.98. Rite Aid shares have traded as high as $2.55 apiece in the past 52 weeks, but they are currently more than 20% lower than 90 days ago.

And the Rest

Rounding out the top 10 were Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. (NYSE: BABA) and Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S). Sprint was the lead gainer among these, while the number of shares short at Ford and Back of America was little changed during the period.

Transocean Ltd. (NYSE: RIG) dropped out of the top 10 most shorted NYSE stocks with a marginal decline in short interest. Note that Gerdau S.A. (NYSE: GGB) and Aurora Cannabis Inc. (NYSE: ACB) both saw more than 20% gains in the numbers of their shares sold short, but they both fell short of breaking into the spotlight of the top 10.