Short Interest in Semiconductors Becomes Company Specific

The short interest data for the semiconductor industry have come out for the October 15 settlement date. These chip stocks all took a hit during the market sell-off in mid-October, but the most recent short interest data showed that investors were getting ever more focused on individual companies rather than treating all major chip stocks the same. It is important to note that semiconductor trends are considered to be leading indicators of technology and broad demand.

Advanced Micro Devices Inc. (NYSE: AMD) saw its short interest jump to 145 million shares, with 4.36 days to cover, from 133 million in the previous period. The recent CEO shakeup news did not help here. Shares closed Friday $2.68, which falls within a 52-week range of $2.54 to $4.80.

Applied Materials Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) saw its short interest fall slightly to 72.2 million shares from the previous level of 72.8 million. The days to cover fell to 3.42 from the previous level of 7.82, because the average daily share volume was 21 million compared to the previous 9 million. The stock has been trading up closer to its 52-week high of $23.46. The 52-week low is $16.40.

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Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) saw its short interest reading for the October 15 settlement date come in at 137 million shares, with 3.06 days to cover. This rose from the previous level of 124 million, but it is still lower than the relative high set back in June when short interest was at 182 million shares. This means short sellers were betting against Intel earnings. The stock’s 52-week high is $35.56, and shares closed Friday at $33.18.

Micron Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: MU) saw its short interest fall to 104 million from 105 million, with a drop in days to cover to 2.57. Micron moved an average daily share volume of 40 million this period, which is a level that has not been reached since April. Micron shares closed Friday at $31.06 and have moved down from the July 52-week high of $34.85, but they are still well above the 52-week low of $16.30.

SanDisk Corp. (NASDAQ: SNDK) short interest held consistent with its previous level at 15 million, while the days to cover fell to 3.40 from 4.67. The current level of short interest is the second lowest of the year, just behind the previous period. The 52-week range for SanDisk is $64.50 to $108.77.

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