Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) is once again attracting short sellers. According to the latest Nasdaq data, 30.34 million shares of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) are shorted, representing 37.5% of the company’s total float. That’s a 19.5% increase since Nov. 15. Short interest has jumped almost 46% since October 15. In fact, it’s at the highest level since April 15.
Tesla short sellers have burned cash
The electric vehicle company was one of the biggest targets of short sellers at the beginning of this year. Earlier this year, short sellers began to bet against Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) when its stock price stagnated. But they were proved wrong when the Elon Musk-led company reported its first ever quarterly profit. The stock began to soar, and a large number of short positions were quickly closed. Short sellers were almost silent until October when the stock had risen about 350% since the beginning of the year.
Meanwhile, famous investors and celebrities have spoken against Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA). Hedge fund titan Jim Chanos hinted in October that he was shorting the Palo Alto-based company. Hollywood superstar George Clooney said that, though he was one of the first buyers of Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s first car, he didn’t like the vehicle. Though Clooney didn’t clearly state if he was shorting the automaker, many took his statement as a bearish view. Weeden & Co. analyst Michael Purves said in a research note that Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s rally is going to end because the stock is widely divorced from fundamentals.
Impact of recent concerns surrounding Tesla
The stock has fallen from its Sept. 30 peak of about $195 a share to around $155 today. That’s mainly because of the recent PR fiasco after three Model S sedans caught fire in less than six weeks across the nation. Less positive reaction to Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA)’s latest sales figures might also have had some impact on the stock.
Those concerns around the company seem to have prompted short sellers to come out of the shell and short Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) again. Anyway, the stock rose 2.7% yesterday to close the session at $155.50. It’s up another 0.3% in pre-market trading today.