Estimated short position in New York Times cut sharply as stock breaks out to seven-month highs
Welcome to this week’s installment of “The Short Interest Report" - The Fly's weekly recap of short interest trends among some of the most widely followed high-short-float stocks. Using the data from our partnerOrtex.com, which utilizes the latest information from stock lenders to estimate short interest changes for thousands of publicly traded companies, this version will screen for some of biggest changes in short interest as a percentage of free float and days-to-cover ratios. This report will also continue to layer the short interest data on some of the more volatile and heavier-traded names of the week. Based on the availability of data from Ortex, the report will continue to track the trading period that covers prior Friday through Thursday of this week.
As a basis of comparison, the S&P 500 index was up 0.9%, the Russell 2000 index was up 1.1%, the Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) was up 1.3%, and the Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) was up 0.7% in the period range.
ESTIMATED SHORT INTEREST GAINERS
Big Five Sporting Goods (BGFV) had seen its short position slashed by more than half to 30% in the second week of September as profit-taking from a 50% stock price advance had set in, but bearish sentiment has been trickling in. This week, the estimated short position as a percentage of free float increased by five percentage points to 42.2%, the highest level in five weeks, while days-to-cover matched a one-month high of 4.4. Shares of Big Five Sporting Goods were down 2.7% in the five-day period covered.
Estimated short interest in Arcimoto (FUV) rose over three percentage points to a seven-week high of 34.8% and days-to-cover was at its highest level on record of 10.5 with the stock remaining trapped in a $10-$12 range over a period of two months. Investors did not take kindly to Arcimoto’s Q3 vehicle production update that mentioned supply chain issues on Wednesday. Shares of Arcimoto were down 1.8% in the five-day period covered.
Ortex-driven screen flagged a sharp build in estimated short interest for small-cap LSB Industries (LXU), with bearish position spiking from 16% to as high as 198% on Wednesday prior to a retreat to 177% by Thursday. The stock was particularly volatile this week with NYSE briefly halting trading in the name due to dividend price adjustment, though overall for the week LXU was up just 0.3%.
Short positioning in MicroStrategy (MSTR) accelerated its build just as shares began a more pronounced upward swing early last week, with the estimated bearish position as a percentage of free float rising five percentage points to 23.7% - the highest level in nearly four weeks. The stock has benefited from the rising tide of bitcoin prices given its holdings of the crypto-currency, ending this week up another 4.5% in the five-day period covered.
Microcap PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals (PHAS) has staged a 33% rally since the company announced that it will be presenting phase 3 trial data findings at the American Heart Association session next month, though the bearish position has closely followed the spike, with estimated shorts as a percent of free float also jumping from 1% to 105% this week. Shares of PhaseBio Pharmaceuticals were up 17.6% in the five-day period covered.
ESTIMATED SHORT INTEREST DECLINERS
Estimated short interest in Bolt Biotherapeutics (BOLT) continued to normalize after a surge in late September – early October, skidding by half to 25% from its six-month high of over 50%. After its run-up in late August, the stock has traded in a more narrow range for the past three weeks but finishing our tracked five-day period ended Thursday up 7.8%.
Shares of New York Times (NYT) are breaking out to seven-month high and the bears appear to be capitulating, with estimated net short position compressing from 37% of free float all the way down to under 12% - the lowest level since October 1st. Days to cover on NYT was also cut by nearly two thirds to 2.8, with the stock ending the five-day period covered up by 4.0%.
Smile Direct Club (SDC) has been featured as a short squeeze candidate after its estimated short interest position hit record highs in late September, but while the estimated short position was cut by 15 percentage points this week to 32.7%, the stock was also down by 13% in the five-day period covered.
Keywords: Short selling, short interest, days to cover, securities, lending, utilization, GameStop, AMC, sentiment analysis, New York Times, Big Five Sporting Goods, Arcimoto, Smile Direct Club