12 Stocks Trading Close to 52-Week High Being Targeted By Short Sellers And With Low Cash Reserves

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The following is a list of stocks that are trading 0-10% from their 52-week high. However, all of these stocks are highly shorted (short float > 10%) and have seen an increase in shares shorted of more than 10% between 1/15 - 2/15. 

To further strengthen our analysis, we calculated the average quarterly operating expense over the last four quarters, and compared it with current cash holdings for each firm.

We found that all the companies listed below have operating expenses that are more than 2x their cash reserves, translating into significant potential weakness if revenues were to decline.

Now, is this the chance for you to short these names? Or do you see a potential short squeeze in the horizon? Full details below.

Short trends data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, operating expenses and cash data from Google Finance, all other data from Finviz.

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1. Access a thorough description of all companies mentioned

2. Compare analyst ratings for all stocks mentioned below 

3. Visualize market cap changes for the top stocks mentioned

 

The list has been sorted by the change in shares shorted between 1/15 - 2/15.

1. Hormel Foods Corp. (HRL): Meat Products Industry. Market cap of $7.39B. Short float at 55.55%. Shares shorted have increased from 3.73M to 7.63M shares (104.56% change). Current cash holdings at $649.53M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $1677.05M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.58 times greater than current cash holdings. Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.41), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has gained 36.06% over the last year.

2. Kindred Healthcare Inc. (KND): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $1.02B. Short float at 13.52%. Shares shorted have increased from 3.53M to 5.22M shares (47.88% change). Current cash holdings at $93.92M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $1333.47M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 14.2 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has had a good month, gaining 32.7%. 

3. Atlas Pipeline Holdings LP (AHD): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $577.82M. Short float at 58.62%. Shares shorted have increased from 3.26M to 4.40M shares (34.97% change). Current cash holdings at $0.21M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $433.36M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2063.62 times greater than current cash holdings. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.62). Exhibiting strong upside momentum--currently trading 29.78% above its SMA20, 39.03% above its SMA50, and 100.63% above its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 26.35% over the last week. 

4. Resolute Energy Corporation (REN): Independent Oil & Gas Industry. Market cap of $975.96M. Short float at 12.93%. Shares shorted have increased from 5.33M to 6.81M shares (27.77% change). Current cash holdings at $1.83M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $35.5M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 19.4 times greater than current cash holdings. Relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.33), which may be appealing to risk averse investors. The stock has had a good month, gaining 20.45%.

5. Pitney Bowes Inc. (PBI): Business Equipment Industry. Market cap of $5.09B. Short float at 11.61%. Shares shorted have increased from 19.51M to 23.61M shares (21.01% change). Current cash holdings at $514.97M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $1222.67M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.37 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has gained 15.12% over the last year.

6. Fastenal Co. (FAST): General Building Materials Industry. Market cap of $9.25B. Short float at 11.64%. Shares shorted have increased from 13.08M to 15.55M shares (18.88% change). Current cash holdings at $169.76M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $459.95M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.71 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has gained 40.93% over the last year. 

7. Ethan Allen Interiors Inc. (ETH): Home Furnishings & Fixtures Industry. Market cap of $677.17M. Short float at 18.08%. Shares shorted have increased from 4.03M to 4.69M shares (16.38% change). Current cash holdings at $69.29M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $155.81M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.25 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.27% over the last week.

8. Brinker International Inc. (EAT): Restaurants Industry. Market cap of $2.25B. Short float at 11.59%. Shares shorted have increased from 8.82M to 10.24M shares (16.1% change). Current cash holdings at $114.47M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $646.81M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 5.65 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 8.26% over the last week.

9. United Rentals, Inc. (URI): Rental & Leasing Services Industry. Market cap of $1.88B. Short float at 21.8%. Shares shorted have increased from 11.44M to 13.15M shares (14.95% change). Current cash holdings at $203.0M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $510.0M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.51 times greater than current cash holdings. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.36). The stock has gained 266.59% over the last year.

10. Boise Inc. (BZ): Paper & Paper Products Industry. Market cap of $758.40M. Short float at 29.28%. Shares shorted have increased from 18.90M to 21.51M shares (13.81% change). Current cash holdings at $177.45M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $480.51M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 2.71 times greater than current cash holdings. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.49). The stock has gained 59.68% over the last year.

11. Ulta Salon, Cosmetics & Fragrance, Inc. (ULTA): Personal Services Industry. Market cap of $2.45B. Short float at 11.66%. Shares shorted have increased from 4.65M to 5.29M shares (13.76% change). Current cash holdings at $8.35M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $318.35M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 38.13 times greater than current cash holdings. The stock has gained 91.57% over the last year.

12. Dillard's Inc. (DDS): Department Stores Industry. Market cap of $2.59B. Short float at 21.98%. Shares shorted have increased from 7.30M to 8.20M shares (12.33% change). Current cash holdings at $343.3M vs. average quarterly operating expenses over the last four quarters at $1496.19M, i.e. the company's average quarterly operating expenses are 4.36 times greater than current cash holdings. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.53). The stock has gained 86.46% over the last year. 



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Investing Ideas , Stocks


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