Big Swings in Short Interest in Actively Traded Cult Stocks (ALU, BAC, BKS, DNDN, DMND, FB, FSLR, GMCR, GRPN, LNKD, NFLX, NOK, RSH, RIMM, SIRI, ZNGA)

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The short interest in the actively traded cult stocks and low-priced shares is often highly volatile. We tracked some rather large moves up and down in this group for the August 15 settlement date's short interest versus the July 31 report. Here we look at the following active cult stocks and low-priced short interest reports: Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU), Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC), Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS), Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN), Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR), Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN), LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD), Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX), Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK), RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH), Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM), Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) and Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA).

Alcatel Lucent S.A. (NYSE: ALU) saw a drop to the lowest short interest since February as perhaps the ADR has fallen about as far as it is likely to fall. The mid-August reading was 14.563 million shares, versus 18.488 million shares short at the end of July.

Bank of America Corp. (NYSE: BAC) again was hardly changed at 220.29 million shares short in mid-August, versus 224.5 million shares as of July 31. This bank's short interest has been steady for about two months now.

Barnes & Noble Inc. (NYSE: BKS) saw another small uptick in its short interest to 14.07 million shares short in mid-August, versus 13.956 million shares short at the end of July. What really stands out now though is that this represents a whopping 24.1 days to cover, and that is the largest reading on that metric in at least a year.

Dendreon Corp. (NASDAQ: DNDN) saw yet another gain in the short interest, up to 43.37 million shares short as of mid-August versus 40.87 million shares short at the end of July. That is now 8.8 days to cover, and that is the second-largest days to cover in 2012 and the third-highest days to cover in the past year.

Diamond Foods Inc. (NASDAQ: DMND) saw yet one more decline in the short interest as investors have stopped running for the hills here. The mid-August short interest was down to 8.66 million shares versus 9.088 million shares short as of the end of July. Still, this is now 29.4 days to cover, which is the highest days to cover going all the back to last September. A lower average daily share volume is the reason for this now.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) is no surprise at all … another gain in short selling here. Gee, going into that lockup expiration brought more bets against it. The short interest was a record high of 87.984 million shares short in mid-August, and the days to cover was 2.25. The prior report showing the July 31 settlement date's 61.325 million shares short was the prior record.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw a slight gain in short selling again as the price has been rising. The mid-August short interest was 31.8 million shares versus 29.2 million shares at the end of July. On a nominal basis, this was the largest short interest yet again in over a year.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ: GMCR) saw yet one more jump in the short interest as the bet against the K-Cups grows. Mid-August showed 40.03 million shares in its short interest versus 35.09 million shares at the end of July.

Groupon Inc. (NASDAQ: GRPN) saw a somewhat surprising drop down to 46.36 million shares in the mid-August short interest. That short interest peak was at the end of July when the reading was 55.2 million shares short.

LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE: LNKD) saw a large drop in the short interest, down to 4.243 million shares in mid-August from 4.916 million shares short at the end of July. On a nominal basis this is the smallest short interest in 2012.

Netflix Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) saw a small decline in the mid-August short interest to 14.3 million shares, versus 15.425 million shares short at the end of July. Just keep in mind that the prior reading was a large jump and this is still the second-highest short interest reading in a year.

Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) saw another rise in the short interest to almost 218 million shares short at the mid-August settlement date versus 202.75 million shares short at the end of July. That is the highest reading since mid-April.

RadioShack Corp. (NYSE: RSH) finally bucked the trend of higher and higher short selling. The mid-August short interest was 42.398 million shares versus 45.695 million shares short at the end of July. This only partly reverses what had been five-straight rises in the short interest reports.

Research In Motion Ltd. (NASDAQ: RIMM) saw another slight drop in the short interest, down to 86.666 million shares short in mid-August, versus 89.556 million shares short at the end of July.

Sirius XM Radio Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) saw a huge drop in the short interest, perhaps around the Liberty-Malone "de facto control" war. The short interest fell to 259.7 million shares in mid-August, versus 329.9 million shares in the July 21 settlement date's short interest.

Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA) saw a massive drop in the short selling activity here. The mid-August short interest was down by more than one-third to 19.3 million shares from 31.677 million shares in the July 31 settlement date's short interest.

JON C. OGG


Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Cult Stock, Short Interest Tagged: ALU, BAC, BKS, DMND, DNDN, FB, FSLR, GMCR, GRPN, LNKD, NFLX, NOK, RIMM, RSH, SIRI, ZNGA
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