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Goldman Sachs' Most Meaningful Short Positions List

- By Alberto Abaterusso

Data on the most meaningful short positions that count to hedge funds have been composed by Goldman Sachs Global Investment Research from the source FactSet. These data can be found on zerohedge.com.

According to aforementioned sources, ExxonMobil Corp. (XOM) is the leader of the ranking that covers "50 stocks representing important short positions" with a value of short interest of $4.5 billion as of Oct. 31.


ExxonMobil is tailgated by International Business Machines Corp. (IBM) with a value of short interest of $3.7 billion.

The other top 10 stocks that occupy the ranking representing the most significant stock shares volume that have been sold short but not bought back yet by investors are AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) and Caterpillar Inc. (CAT) with a value of short interest of $3.6 billion, Chevron Corp. (CVX) with $3.5 billion, Boeing Co. (BA) with $3.3 billion, General Electric Co. (GE) with $3.2 billion, Procter & Gamble Co. (PG) and Abbott Laboratories (ABT) with a value of short interest of $3.0 billion and Walt Disney Co. (DIS) that closes the top 10 stocks group with a value of short interest of $2.9 billion.

If the first 10 ranking positions were sorted out according to the short interest computed as a percentage of float capital that is dividing the value of shares sold short by the value of shares available for trading, the first position would be occupied by Caterpillar with a ratio of 7% as of Oct. 31, followed by Abbott Laboratories with a ratio of 5% and Boeing with a ratio of 4%.

Caterpillar has 585.07 million shares outstanding and approximately 99.84% of it is available for trading of the New York Stock Exchange. This means that approximately 40.89 million shares of Caterpillar have been sold short by investors and still not bought back.

Concerning Abbott Laboratories a volume of approximately 73.5 million shares have been sold short on a float of 1.47 billion shares available for trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

With a ratio of 4%, approximately 23 million shares of Boeing have been sold short on a total of 574.82 million of shares available for trading on the New York Stock Exchange.

Bringing up the ranking's rear is occupied by those stocks that have a value of short interest of $1.3 billion. Of these stocks worth mentioning are Freeport-McMoRan (FCX) and Digital Realty Trust (DLR) because their short interest ratios calculated as a percentage of float cap is 10% which is the highest in the overall ranking even though it cannot be seen as a prediction of increasing pessimistic market feeling on these three stocks. A red flag is usually raised when this ratio is more than 25%.

AutoZone Inc. (AZO), a U.S. retailer that distributes automotive replacement parts, occupies the upper middle of the ranking with a short interest of 9% and a value of $2.0 billion.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stock mentioned in this article.

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This article first appeared on GuruFocus.