Apple Joins the Five Most Heavily Shorted Nasdaq Stocks

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A surge in short interest in Apple shares between the May 30 and June 13 settlement dates was enough to lift the tech giant into the top five most shorted stocks on the Nasdaq. But it was Intel that saw the biggest rise in the number of shares short in the period, though short interest increased in all five. And they all had short positions of more than 110 million shares by mid-month.

The number of Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (SIRI) shares short rose by about 7.68 million to around 315.53 million, which was 11.4% of the float. That was the greatest level of short interest since last July. It would take about eight days to cover all short positions. Sirius announced the autumn launch of Joel Osteen Radio during the period. The stock’s price was up less than 2% in the two-week period and is still more than 2% higher year-to-date. Shares closed at $3.40 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $2.98 to $4.18.

Intel Corp. (INTC) had a 7.4% gain in short interest to 182.82 million shares during the period when it raised its guidance due to demand for business PCs. That totaled 3.7% of the company’s float, and it ended a five-period streak of the number of shares short shrinking. The days to cover dropped to less than five. Short sellers watched share prices rise more than 9% in the two-week period. Shares closed at $30.50, in a 52-week range of $21.89 to $30.77, and are up more than 17% year-to-date.

In the period when it made our list of the worst places to work, the short interest in Frontier Communications Corp. (FTR) rose 5.5% from the previous period to more than 171.32 million shares, or 17.2% of the telecom’s float. Note that the rate of growth is increasing, as short interest rose only about 1% in the previous period. Now it would take more than 18 days to cover all short positions. Shares slipped more than 2% in the two-week period to June 13 but now are up more than 21% year-to-date. Shares closed at $5.67, in a 52-week range of $3.80 to $6.10.

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The number of Apple Inc. (AAPL) shares short increased by 7.0% in the period, lifting it into the top five. The more than 125.89 million shares short as of mid-June represents 2.1% of the float and was the highest level of short interest since April. It would take less than two days to cover all short positions. Apple had its stock split during the two-week period to June 13, and the share price slipped more than 2%. It closed at $11.07 Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $10.86 to $17.30.

Micron Technology Inc.’s (MU) short interest grew from around 109.97 million shares to 116.97 million by the middle of June, during a time when the stock made Goldman Sachs’ list of top hedge fund holdings. That was still 11.0% of the company’s float. The days to cover is about five. Shares closed Tuesday at $32.50, in a 52-week range of $12.31 to $32.97, and it posted a share price increase of about 9% for the two-week short-interest period.

Rounding out the top ten were BlackBerry Ltd. (BBRY), Gilead Sciences Inc. (GILD), Staples Inc. (SPLS), Microsoft Corp. (MSFT) and Windstream Holdings Inc. (WIN). Of these five, only Gilead and Staples saw a decrease in short interest during the period.

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Filed under: Investing Tagged: AAPL, BBRY, FTR, GILD, INTC, MSFT, MU, SIRI, SPLS, WIN

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