Presenting The Most Shorted Stocks

Tyler Durden's picture

By now it should be no secret that under the New Centrally-Planned Normal, good is great, but worst is far greater. It is therefore no surprise that in the past year, some of the highest returning stocks have been the companies which have seen wave after wave of shorts come in, attempting to ride the underlying equity value to zero, only to see themselves scrambling to cover short squeezes, generated either due to the pull of borrow by an overeager shareholder (think SHLD), or due to bad news not being horrible enough, leading to short covering ramps (think AMZN at each and every worse earnings call, which however is never bad enough to finally trounc the last traces of the "bull story"). Which is why, as we have done on various occasions in the past, we have collated the most hated stocks in the less prominent but far more volatile Russell 2000 Index, where we have limited the universe to the 700 or so stocks with a market cap between $50 million and $1,000 billion, or those which tend to have aggressive moves up or down on modest volume (i.e., not widely owned). We have then sorted these in descending order of Short Interest as a % of Float. The results are presented below.

What is one supposed to do with this data? For the overly aggressive out there, and those who are tired of watching paint dry, one option is to create an equal-weighted basket of the 20 most hated names, and hope for the arrival of the one catalyst that forces a massive squeeze. No doubt one or more companies in this list will file for bankruptcy and end up without any value: after all they are shorted for a reason. Yet, all it takes is for one name of 20 to jump tenfold in order to offset the full wipe out of half the names in the basket.

Are we saying this will happen, or any one company will perform as suggested? Of course not: we are not Cramer. This is simply the math. And since fundamentals don't matter in a world where Austrian monetary theory rules (i.e., the only thing that matters is the amount of liquidity entering or leaving the market at any moment), taking advantage of people who still naively believe that there are traces of rationality and efficiency in a market that is broken beyond any slavage value and short the worst names out there, may be one of the few "strategies" that work, besides of course predicting with 100% accuracy what side of the bed Mario or Ben will wake up on.

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vast-dom's picture

there are no markets.  only ponzi mechanics.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

 <--< YES

 <--< NO

slewie opinion poll:  should US Mint-produced gold and silver coinage be restored as LEGAL TENDER in the US as per the US Constitution and not subject to the fuking "collectibles" and OTHER TAXES?

yes or no? VOTE!

...please...  L0L!!!

Pladizow's picture

Fuck "legal tender" - Gold requires the permission of no government!

slewie the pi-rat's picture

when and if you become a US citizen we shall respect your ideas about our constitution, too!

but we in the USA are not ALL brain-dead globalists quite yet

they need out permission to "tax" PM coinage;  i think we should withdraw said "permit"

you are free to pretend taxes are nothing you have a say about;  when did they stop using gold and silver coinage as LEGAL tender where you live, plaz?  huh?  and "why"?

if you don't care about the "boilerplate engineers" is it because you are one of them? 

i'm not talking about "gold" but gold as money

stop pretending you don't understand;  i am speaking about the US, but if you don't care about it where you live, that's fine too;  you want to "own it" and be taxed for that?  your choice, but pardon me if i do not understand such a trip, ok?

i "assume" you voted "no" and that you will pay your taxes and fees to trade YOUR mint-produced coinage in the EU somewhere

thank you for sharing your opinion, btw;  it is not usually this moronic, thank goodness!

Stackers's picture

What no 105% of float short OSTK ???

slewie the pi-rat's picture

there's waaaay too much "volatility" in the R2K to think straight, see, stacker? 

just ask tyler!  LoL!!!

and don't ferget the totalLackOfVolume too!  that is the big "joke".  of course...

and if the third derivative of the 10-year-1...  well. i'm sure you get my drift...

see ya!

Doña K's picture

Gold jewlery is usually made from sheets of gold approximately 8x8 inches (by the way those are black in color until they are bathed in acid) these are mostly 18k and have silver for the other metal

Dental labs (fewer now than ever) use little square thin wafers maybe 1/2x1/2 inch in small sealed plastic pouches. These are mixed with alloys best for structural integrity.

Assuming you did not want coins and you did not want bars. Who would stop you from accumulating those? Some feds would not even recognize the black sheets of gold as being gold.

vast-dom's picture

gold is very much taxed. all transactions from dealers falls under patriot act anti-terror anti-money laundering laws. what a fucking joke! QE is so much more than terror and laundering and yet the average fucktard sheeple must be taxed on PMs!

smiler03's picture

but but "God bless the USA". Fucking joke indeed.

Doña K's picture

Bullion is only taxed if you sell 20 coins or more at once.

fuu's picture

Which one of the 10 identical polls should we use?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

vote early and vote often, fuu, old sport!

slewie has gone die-bold

lQQk at what the "membership" sez when there isn't a total media propwash campaign to confuse them!

i'm gonna paste this poll in every string till my mouse cums in my hand

if you don't like it, what do ya think i might say to that?

did you get some fla. radishes?

if so, were they expensive or did you go for the mindless drunk fatties like at home?

slewie the pi-rat's picture

... not that there's anything wrong with that..., me on that one!

fuu's picture

I did not go to Tampa, I got stopped out at the county level.

More cushion for the pushin', more plump for the pump.

I imagine you would call me a toy-boy propwash boat captain if I didn't like it.

slewie the pi-rat's picture

knowing you, it would be a long shot that you would even truly care about anything but being a fearless troll-hunter

at least you saw what "max" did to your GreatWork and fixed it!

better late than never, son!

that was is and ever shall be my only issue with you

i hope...

and i'm not kidding!

were you posting under another "name" for a while here after that?

i don't expect you to answer that, btw..., ..., ..., ..., ...

fuu's picture

I only have this one handle for better or worse. I was thinking about registering "Librarians for Posterity" but I never got around to it and then he got banned and the joke wasn't going to be funny.

Neethgie's picture

You are the kind of parasetic idiot that made facebook fucking ruinous, you are the kind of moron who will kill twitter, too with the "favourite or retweet" i am fine with that, but i will not your fucking delinquent mind ruin zero hedge with this attention grabbing bullshit.

smiler03's picture

I agree totally. Somebody seems to have totally lost the plot and abuses anybody who comments favourably or otherwise. 

LoneStarHog's picture

Legal Tender:  Gold & Silver

Taxes:  Lead

NotAMathWhiz's picture

WTF slewie, why do you have a dozen of these?  Is there some kind of redemption value to votes here, like getting a ZeroHedge t-shirt or something?

Wait a sec, wouldn't that mean that votes here are like ... money?

Holy shit, is ZeroHedge printing money!?!?!!

TheCanadianAustrian's picture

Yeah but once everyone realizes that they can make worthless votes in exchange for real goods, nobody will want to hold back their votes anymore and vote hyperinflation will ensue.

Keep stacking ZH t-shirts. You've been warned.

HaroldWang's picture

...only ponzi mechanics.

You just described AMZN perfectly!

slaughterer's picture

I know these types of lists are purely statistical, but I think it would be pure stupidity to short RGR right now. 

Dr Benway's picture

Tyler is actually suggesting the opposite as a possible strategy; namely going long a basket of these heavily shorted stocks on the likelihood of a short squeeze coming on one or several of them.

bagehot99's picture

It's actually a pretty decent bet - far more rational than trying to dodge the HFT steamrollers and retail web traders colliding with each other in the Large Cap world.

I'm not sure I'd put big bets on some of those firms, but several have amost no debt and quite decent revenues.

If anybody has a few million doing nothing, we could create an ETF.....and get paid some FEES for basically doing nothing.


Ahmeexnal's picture

SGI (whatever is left from it after it was aquired by rackable) on that list.


Vincent Vega's picture

And the winner is....consumer discretionary.

ZerOhead's picture

Yup it's Skullcandy by a nose.

I never thought Wall Street would ever be short on skullcandy...

Vincent Vega's picture

You don't think Wall St would skullfuck skullcandy to make a buck? I'm scratching my skull over that one.

Dr Benway's picture

76% short interest is amazing though.


I'm surprised some cashed up HFT share manipulator hasn't targeted it for a short squeeze, regardless of fundamentals.


Time the ramping with some moderately positive news, leverage your funds to the hilt, collaborate with some likeminded buddies, and ramp the share.

CunnyFunt's picture

Dumb f*s shorted Ruger ...

My M77V w/26" heavy says otherwise

HelluvaEngineer's picture

Seemed to me like a poor choice as well, given the timing of the election.

CunnyFunt's picture

Right, an obama re-erection would be good for at least another 20%, not that i'm a fan of the zombie either.

sdmjake's picture

Yep, that's crazy... They can't make 'em fast enough to keep up with demand. It ain't like they make Chevy Volts. I watched two get sold in a matter of minutes last trip to the range and almost picked up another one myself.

And the stock ain't some social network nonsense or $10 burrito's a P/E of 16 and a yield that's 220% of the ten year treasury. All that short interest looks like rocket fuel when Obama gets the nod again in Nov...

Iriestx's picture

It's legal to short stocks?


madcows's picture

Yup.  The algos feast on the shorts.

Heyoka Bianco's picture

Until it's not, you know, like when shorting someone's fucked up company is "profitting off of people's misery".

PaperBear's picture

How FTDs are there, that's what I'd like to know but of course those statistics will remain a secret.

Watch Patrick M. Byrne former First Manhattan executive talk about FTDs on his website

firstdivision's picture

So in otherwords, buy these now and get ready to flip them real quick.

ala DDRX

Arthor Bearing's picture

"Skullcandy" is just gross. 
I think somebody could clean up by starting a "short big box stores" fund. Don't need to pay me any fee for the idea, just hire me for some cushy "idea man" job and allow me to hire an unqualified secretary with a narrow waist and big boobs.

slaughterer's picture

Skullcandy: Horrible company, horrible product.  

smiler03's picture

Horrible name. I haven't got a clue what their business is and have no interest on researching it.

Maybe they should remain it, "Sweet Gonads". Can I have a consultancy fee of 10% of the stock rise over 22 minutes?.

ParkAveFlasher's picture

"...slavage value..." I know Tyler meant "salvage" but I like this better!

Ted Baker's picture


Boilermaker's picture

I didn't see "Boilermaker's Short Holdings" listed.  Oh, wait, that's the most propped up stocks.

My bad.

Meesohaawnee's picture

doesnt matter ben has  a short ban in effect.. why do they even open markets now???

Boilermaker's picture

Because you can't ramrod them higher when they are closed.

Meesohaawnee's picture

oh and short idea.. BONT    debt up the ass and up from a "upgrade" beggin for it

q99x2's picture

Richard Stallman on the crazy Alex Jones show today.

I think they are supposed to be talking about hacking the human brain.

Good info in the article. Thanks.