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S3 Research

S3 Analytics: Tesla Shorts Running Out of Gas

Tesla Inc’s (TSLA) stock price had been dropping and its shares shorted were increasing for most of the first half of 2019. TSLA short sellers were up +$5.16 billion in mark-to-market net-of financing profits as of June 3rd when TSLA hit its year-to-date low of $178.97/share. In just over six months, TSLA shorts were $128 million shy of recouping their 2016-2018 mark-to-market losses of -$5.29 billion.

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Hottest Short Stocks – Week of 10/11-10/18

Beyond Meat (BYND US) continues to lap the field as the most expensive actively shorted stock with a stock borrow fee of 146.10%, which is down over 14% from last week. Shares of GameStop Corp (GME) had the largest increase in borrow fees, increasing from 8.55% to 32.60% fee. On the downside PagerDuty (PD), Zoom Video Communications (ZM), RealReal Inc (REAL) and BeyondMeat (BYND) all saw easing stock borrow rates over the last week.

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What Are the Shorts Doing? Week of 10/11 – 10/18

We are tracking $876 billion of Short Interest in the domestic equity market and with the S&P 500 up +0.54% and the Nasdaq up +1.31%. Overall, we saw +$10.85 billion increase of incremental net short selling this week as short sellers increased their short exposure on 28% and decreased their exposure on 34% of the 9,138 domestic stocks that we cover.

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Netflix Short Covering ahead of Earnings

After a three-month buildup from May to July, Netflix Inc (NFLX) short sellers have been slowly trimming their exposure to the online media giant with 1.8 million shares covered, -7.48%, since the beginning of August. NFLX is the 6th largest short in the U.S. market and continues to be the largest short in the Movies and Entertainment Sector. NFLX short interest is $6.2 billion; 21.85 million shares shorted; 5.10% of its float and a 0.30% stock borrow fee (general collateral.)

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Airline Short Selling Since 737 MAX Grounding

Regulatory authorities grounded Boeing’s 737 MAX airplanes worldwide on March 19th after two fatal crashes within five months. According to a March 11th FAA memo, there are three airlines with a total of 74 737 MAX’s registered in their fleets, United Continental (UAL), American Airlines (AAL) and Southwest Airlines (LUV). All three airlines have recently canceled all 737 MAX flights till January 2020.

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What Are the Shorts Doing? Week of 10/4 – 10/11

We are tracking $866 billion of Short Interest in the domestic equity market and with the S&P 500 up +0.62% and the Nasdaq up +0.93% we would expect a decrease in short interest balances last week. Overall, we saw -$1.2 billion of incremental net short covering this week as short sellers decreased their short exposure on one third of the 9,123 stocks that we cover.

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Hottest Short Stocks – Week of 10/4-10/11

Beyond Meat (BYND US) continues to lap the field as the most expensive actively shorted stock with a stock borrow fee of 160.81%, and its intraday rates are trending even higher today. BYND shorts are paying just under $3.6 million per day in stock borrow financing fees, the largest daily financing payment for actively traded shorts.

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Best & Worst Short Plays for the Week of 10/4-10

The $855 billion of U.S. equity shorts that we follow were overall profitable this week making $6.21 billion in net-of-financing mark-to-market profits, for a weekly return of +0.73%. PG & E Corp (PCG) shorts were the most profitable in dollar terms, up $136 million for the week, as power outages and wildfires slammed its stock price. Cannabis stocks also underperformed this week with Aurora Cannabis (ACB) and Canopy Growth (CGC) in the top twenty-five.

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