What's Up With Apple: Short Sellers, Kids App Fronts Gambling Sites, and More

Earlier this week the biweekly report on short interest was published, containing data collected on March 31. Among short sellers, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) was the third-most-popular stock, trailing only Tesla and Amazon. Short sellers borrow shares of a company’s stock for a fee (usually less than 1% of the share price), betting that a stock’s share price will drop and that they will be able to sell the borrowed shares back to their original owner at a profit.

For the most recent two-week reporting period, some 101.5 million shares of Apple stock were shorted. Those shares represented about 0.58% of all Apple’s floated shares and were valued at around $13 billion. Short interest in Tesla stock was valued at just over $35 billion, with nearly 6% of the automaker’s stock shorted.

While Apple was the third-most-often shorted stock, it was also the third-least profitable stock for short sellers. According to data compiled by S3 Analytics, over the 30 days up to March 31, short sellers lost $1.3 billion by shorting Apple stock, about 10.5% of the total amount invested in Apple short interest over the 30-day period.

Also, Apple was the stock that experienced the largest amount of short covering over the past 30 days. Short covering means that short sellers had to repay the owners of the stock at a higher price than the sellers had bet the stock would fall to. That is, they lost money. Short covering accounted for nearly $1.5 billion in short seller losses over the 30-day period.

FlickType developer Kosta Eleftheriou was the first to report Thursday that an iPhone App called Jungle Runner 2k21 that purported to be a children’s game was, in fact, a front for an online casino for users who either resided in Turkey or who had set their VPNs to Turkey.

According to a Daring Fireball report, the game’s developer “isn’t running the online casinos. He’s just showing the casino websites in a web view, and collecting new user bonuses when people sign up through his embedded affiliate code.” Apple already has removed the game from the App Store.

Eleftheriou filed a suit against Apple in March seeking damages for alleged fraud, abuse of monopoly power and allowing scam apps to steal his ideas.

Apple on Thursday announced a $200 million investment in a carbon-removal initiative called the Restore Fund that will “make investments in forestry projects to remove carbon from the atmosphere while generating a financial return for investors.” Apple’s partners in the fund are Conservation International and Goldman Sachs.