> Shares short: More than 72.52 million
> Change from prior period: +13.7%
> Percentage of float: 19.2
Novavax Inc. (NASDAQ: NVAX) had risen a couple of more spots on the list by the latest settlement date. The most recent figure represented the greatest number of shares short in the past year. The average daily trading volume pulled back somewhat during the period, and the days to cover figure increased from more than seven to almost 10.
This Maryland-based vaccine maker had positive trial results for a flu treatment earlier this year. However, by the latest short interest settlement date, the share price has retreated more than 9%, erasing the gains made in the prior two-week period.
After a pop of almost 8% in the past week, Novavax stock ended trading most recently at $2.13 a share. That falls within a 52-week trading range of $1.15 to $2.75. The share price currently is more than 15% higher than at the beginning of this year.
> Shares short: More than 70.69 million
> Change from prior period: +0.3%
> Percentage of float: 36.2
The number of TherapeuticsMD Inc. (NASDAQ: TXMD) shares sold short has been between 71 million and 69 million in seven of the past eight periods. And the average daily volume increased in the most recent two-week period, so it would take less than 25 days for investors to cover all their short positions as of the latest settlement date.
The company recently posted quarterly results that were largely in line with analysts’ expectations. The stock ended the short interest period with a gain of around 7%, though it had been nearly 13% higher earlier in those two weeks.
TherapeuticsMD stock closed most recently at $5.83 a share, after climbing about 53% year to date. The shares have traded hands at between $3.51 (seen back in December) and $7.66 (last summer) apiece in the past 52 weeks.
> Shares short: More than 65.28 million
> Change from prior period: +9.9%
> Percentage of float: 19.0
Mattel Inc. (NASDAQ: MAT) slipped into the top six most shorted Nasdaq stocks in the first two weeks of this month, as it recovered most of the decline seen in the previous period. The average daily trading volume rose sharply in those two weeks, and the number of days it would take for investors to cover all their short positions dropped from more than 16 to less than five.
Mattel’s latest earnings report shined, at least in comparison to rival Hasbro. Short sellers watched the share price surge after the fourth-quarter results were released, only to drop sharply just before the settlement date. The stock still ended the two weeks more than 17% higher.
After climbing more than 6% last week, Mattel stock ended trading most recently at $14.49 a share. That was in a 52-week range of $9.09 (during the December market sell-off) to $17.98. The share price currently is about 45% higher than at the beginning of this year.
Rounding out the top 10 were Opko Health Inc. (NASDAQ: OPK), Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA), Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA). No clear trend among these four, as the number of shares short at Opko and Micron increased, while at Comcast and Zynga they decreased.
Lingering outside the spotlight of the top 10 most shorted Nasdaq stocks this time were Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC), Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) and JD.com Inc. (NASDAQ: JD).