Major Changes in Short Interest of Major Social Media Leaders (FB, GRPN, LNKD, RENN, ZNGA)

The Nasdaq and NYSE short interest for Feb. 15 is out, and there have been some big changes in the short interest compared to January 31. While Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) saw a big gain in the short selling activity, Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) had such a large gain in short selling activity that you might want to scratch your head.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) saw a large pop to 25.39 million shares short as of Feb. 15, versus 20.54 million as of Jan. 31. That is nearly a 24% increase in the short selling activity. Facebook’s stock remains depressed since earnings.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a large drop in the short interest, which is counterintuitive if you look at how bad its earnings report was this week. The Feb. 15 short interest fell to 31.92 million shares, versus 36.73 million shares short as of Jan. 31. Note that the daily-deals website outfit’s short interest hit the lowest level since last summer, and the peak short interest was 55.2 million then.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) saw its short interest shrink to 4.499 million shares short as of Feb. 15, versus 4.835 million shares short as of Jan. 31. That is the lowest level of short selling since mid-November. It is good that short sellers got out of the way because this stock has been gaining daily and recently hit a new all-time high.

Renren Inc. (NYSE: RENN) saw its short interest remain almost the same, with a drop of less than 1%. The Feb. 15 short interest fell to 4.381 million shares, versus 4.416 million shares short as of Jan. 31. What is interesting is that shares are close to a 52-week low and the stock is down more than 13% year-to-date when the broad market is trading higher.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) saw a massive spike in its short interest while its shares were rising off the lows. Get this: the jump in short selling activity was up a whopping 97%! Zynga had 25.944 million shares short as of Feb. 15, versus 13.149 million shares short just two weeks earlier. That is a high going back to last summer, but note that in mid-May of 2012 the short interest peaked at more than 56 million shares.

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