Record Highs at Alphabet Make a Hard Case for Short Sellers

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) ranks as the fourth-largest company in the world, with a market cap of $1.43 trillion. It is in an elite club with the likes of Apple, Microsoft and Amazon, all with market caps over $1 trillion. However, its short interest hardly compares to most of these big names.

For the most recent settlement date, Apple’s short interest came in at 91.86 million, and 44.53 million Microsoft shares were short. The shares short on Amazon were much lower at 3.32 million. Again, Alphabet’s short interest fell below this whole group.

Alphabet’s short interest for the January 29 settlement was 2.85 million shares, up from 2.46 million on the prior settlement date. Note that this compares with the 2.99 million shares short reported in the same period of last year.

In the past 52 weeks, the stock has outperformed the broad markets, with shares up about 38%. Year to date, the stock is up only 18%.

Alphabet has a daily average trading volume of 1.69 million shares traded, so it would take short sellers about 1.24 days to cover their positions.

The company recently reported its fourth-quarter financial results that helped to push shares to all-time highs. This is definitely making a hard case for short sellers. During the most recent quarter, revenues were driven by Search and YouTube, as consumer and business activity recovered from earlier in the year.

Alphabet stock traded at $2,055.65 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $1,008.87 to $2,115.00. The consensus price target is $2,279.27.