Why Alphabet Makes a Hard Case for Short Sellers

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) ranks as the fourth-largest company in the world, with a market cap of $1.40 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 88.33 million, and 40.60 million Microsoft shares were short. The shares short on Amazon were much lower at 3.80 million. Again, Alphabet’s short interest fell below this whole group.

Alphabet’s short interest for the February 12 settlement was 3.29 million shares, up about 15% from 2.85 million on the prior settlement date. Note that this also 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 50%. Year to date, the stock is up only 19%.

Alphabet has a daily average trading volume of 1.89 million shares traded, so it would take short sellers about 1.74 days to cover their positions.

The company recently received a very positive analyst call from Loop Capital. This came in response to Alphabet’s most recent quarterly results.

Alphabet stock traded near $2,071 Thursday morning, in a 52-week range of $1,008.87 to $2,145.14. The consensus price target is $2,321.05.