Here is a look at the top five most shorted stocks in Europe and a quick look at a few famous names (like Lone Pine) which have bet against these companies. Take a look at short positions in Japan here.
Lone Pine, Axial, Pennant etc: Short Positions
Neopost SA (EPA:NEO) sells postal equipment and provides logistics for mail services. The company is heavily shorted, with total declared positions amounting to 13.7 percent of Neopost's outstanding shares. Large hedge funds like Axial Capital, Pennant Capital and Lone Pine Capital have short positions in the company. Despite the concentration of short positions, these headwinds have not affected its stock performance. For the year, Neopost's shares have risen 22 percent. The French company trades around €49, revenue of last year came upto €1 billion, and revenue for FY2013 is expected to fall around €1.07 billion.
The Netherlands based company deals in the provision of automation services to industries and provides other mechanical and electrical engineering solutions. Total short interest in ROYAL IMTECH NV (OTCMKTS:IMTEF) amounts to 12.03 percent of outstanding shares. Most of the current short bets are from European hedge funds, noted shortsellers include Lansdowne Partners and Marshall Wace. The stock trades around €5.5 and is down 68 percent year to date, according to data from Bloomberg. Royal Imtech's shares underwent major dips twice this year, plummeting from highs of €20 to €10 in February when it reported earnings for FY2012. Net income was -€238 million while revenue came up at €5.4 billion. Dan Loeb's Third Point also held a short in ROYAL IMTECH NV (OTCMKTS:IMTEF) which was covered in April.
The Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR) provides services to the engineering, industrial and oil and gas sector. Total short interest in Weir's outstanding shares is up to 11.43 percent. Eight hedge funds are betting against the company including Coatue Management, Lansdowne Partners, AQR Capital and Eminence Capital. Other who have bet in favor of Weir Group include, Bramshott European and Pegasus Fund. The Weir Group PLC (LON:WEIR)'s revenue for FY2012 came upto £2.538 billion while net income was £315 million. Shares of Weir have risen 11.85 percent this year. The company expects to tap into increased demand for hydraulic fracturing equipments as shale oil and gas explorers step up their operations. The demand of these specialized pressure pumps, which Weir Group manufactures, is predicted to rise three times in North America till 2016.
See all short positions disclosed in UK here.
Total short interest in WH Smith Plc (LON:SMWH) is up to 11.43 percent of its outstanding shares. The company has two sales divisions which sell newspapers, magazines, books in airports, bus stations and such places. It also has stores that sell the same products through its High Street division. Eminence Capital, Lone Pine Capital and Lansdowne Partners have shorts in the company. WH Smith Plc (LON:SMWH) reported revenues of £1.2 billion in 2012 , shares have gained 4 percent YTD.
Total short interest in Home Retail Group Plc (LON:HOME) is 10.4 percent of outstanding shares. The company is involved in the retail of a wide range of home products and is the owner of Argos and Homebase chains . Share price is up 4 percent for the year. Tiger cubs Lone Pine Capital, Maverick Capital and Marble Arch Investments have shorts in the company. Home Retail reported its FY2013 revenues of £5.5 billion. Shares of Home Retail plummeted on June 14 when the company said that consumer spending was likely to remain subdued and profitability has dipped. The company forecasted a fall of 1.4 percent in sales at its DIY chain Homebase.
All positions are as of June 24 2013, the total short interest only takes into account positions above 0.5 percent of outstanding shares.