Alphabet Short Sellers Run for Cover After Stellar Earnings

Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) ranks as the fourth-largest company in the world, with a market cap over $1.5 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 82.71 million, and 46.70 million Microsoft shares were short. The number of shares short on Amazon was much lower at 4.77 million. Again, Alphabet’s short interest fell below this whole group.

Alphabet’s short interest for the April 30 settlement was 3.02 million shares, down from 4.17 million on the prior settlement date. Note that this also compares with the 3.97 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 62%. Year to date, the stock is up only 29.5%.

Alphabet has a daily average volume of 1.60 million shares traded, so it would take short sellers about 1.89 days to cover their positions.

24/7 Wall St. recently reported on Alphabet:

When Alphabet … released its first-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday, the tech giant said that it had $26.29 in earnings per share (EPS) and $55.31 billion in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $15.82 in EPS and $51.7 billion in revenue, and the $9.87 per share and $41.16 billion reported in the same period of last year.

Revenues were driven this quarter by Search and YouTube, as consumer and business activity recovered from last year.

The Google segment posted first-quarter revenues of $31.88 billion, up from $24.50 billion a year ago. YouTube ad revenues increased 48.7% year over year to $6.00 billion and Google Cloud increased 45.7% to $4.05 billion.

In the first quarter, year-over-year traffic acquisition costs paid to Google Network members increased by 30.3%. Total traffic acquisition costs increased to $9.71 billion from $7.45 billion.

Alphabet did not offer any guidance in the report. However, the consensus estimates call for $15.69 in EPS and $53.01 billion in revenue for the second quarter.

Alphabet stock traded near $2,241 Wednesday morning, in a 52-week range of $1,323.30 to $2,431.38. The consensus price target is $2,726.22.