Estimated short position in former short-squeeze play RH spikes from 11% to 39%; Bears nibble on Dicks Sporting ahead of earnings
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 partner Ortex.com, which utilizes the latest information from stock lenders to estimate short interest changes for thousands of publicly traded companies, this report will screen for some of biggest changes in short interest as a percentage of free float and days-to-cover ratios while also considering 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 tracks the trading period that covers prior Friday through Thursday of this week. As a basis of comparison for stocks discussed below, the S&P 500 index was up 1.3%, the Russell 2000 index was up 1.0%, the Russell 1000 Growth ETF (IWF) was up 2.0%, and the Russell 1000 Value ETF (IWD) was up 1.4% in the period range.
SHORT INTEREST GAINERS
RH (RH) is the major new entrant in our Ortex-driven screen this week, with estimated short interest on the name jumping from 11% at the end of last week to 39% this Thursday – the highest level since early 2020. Days to cover on RH has also risen from 1.1 to 1.4. The stock is up a marginal 2.6% in the five-day period covered, and there were no significant news developments reported or outsized volume changes to accompany the sudden shift in bearish interest.
Estimated short interest in FaZe Holdings (FAZE) – the recently listed gaming content creation platform - spiked heading into the weekend, with Ortex data showing an increase from 4% to 76%. Following the July completion of a SPAC merger with B. Riley Principal 150 Merger, the stock began trading on the Nasdaq less than a month ago and also reported Q2 results this week showing 22% growth in revenue. In the five-day period covered through Thursday, FaZe Holdings is up 21%, adding another 6% on Friday heading into the close.
Estimated short interest in Bed Bath and Beyond (BBBY) topped out at 53.9% on Wednesday and settled at 50.8% on Thursday, though this was still up over three percentage points from last week’s levels. The stock was up 74.5% in the five-day period covered through Thursday, closing yesterday's trading at $18.55, though this was well off the intra-week high of $30 as RC Ventures’ Ryan Cohen confirmed that he is cashing in his entire 12% stake in the company. Heading into Friday’s close, Bed Bath and Beyond is down another 40% around the $11 level as "meme stock" sentiment-driven euphoria on the name continues to recede.
Estimated short interest in Dick's Sporting (DKS) was up from 26.8% to 29.5% as of this Thursday, which is the highest level since late 2019. The stock has had an impressive run-up since bottoming along with the broader market in mid-June, gaining over 60% from those lows at its best levels of this week. Shares were also up 7% in the five-day period covered through Thursday and volumes were elevated, though the rise in bearish appetite could be attributed to expectations of heightened volatility as Dicks heads for Q2 earnings next Tuesday, August 23rd.
Estimated short interest in Groupon (GRPN) saw a slight lift this week from 39.5% to 43% but generally remains within a range established over a period of the past two months that is capped at 45% on the high side. The stock had gained about 50% from its mid-July lows but the upside momentum has faltered early last week when the company announced 27% decline in billings with its Q2 results and its management withdrew its FY22 guidance. In the five-day period covered, Groupon shares were down 10%.
SHORT INTEREST DECLINERS
Estimated short interest in value fashion retailer Citi Trends (CTRN) hit a one-month high on August 5th but has since registered a decline in every trading session for the past two weeks. Ortex-reported short position as a percentage of free float fell from 28.5% to 22.6% as of Thursday - the lowest level since late 2021 – and the stock is up 9.7% in the five-day period covered. Citi Trends is scheduled to report Q2 results before the market opens this coming Wednesday, and the stock has had a positive reaction to earnings in every reporting instance this year.
Blue Apron (APRN) short interest hit a multi-month peak last Thursday at 51% but declined in every trading session since, falling 20 percentage points overall to 31.3%. Bed Bath Beyond-inspired momentum also took this meme name for a ride this week on much higher trading volume, and Blue Apron was up as much as 86% at one point on Wednesday relative to last Thursday’s close, though the collapse in the former also sparked a sell-off in the latter. In the five-day period covered through, Blue Apron shares gained 45%, though the stock was down another 10.5% heading into close on Friday.
Keywords: Short selling, short interest, days to cover, securities, lending, utilization, sentiment analysis, AMC, GameStop, Bed Bath Beyond, Blue Apron, FaZe Holdings, RH, Dicks Sporting, Groupon, Citi trends