Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and SolarCity (NASDAQ:SCTY) are the big movers in short interest over the first two weeks of March. NASDAQ just updated its numbers for short interest through March 14.
Apple short interest repeats a trend
According to Seeking Alpha contributor Bill Maurer, this is the second year in a row in Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s short interest has spiked early in the year. However, just like last year, short interest in the company declined after spiking in the first two weeks of February. Since the mid-February report, almost 5.8 million shares of Apple, which was about 22% of the sold-short shares at that point, have been covered.
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What’s particularly interesting about Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL)’s short interest moves, however, is the change in the number of days it will take to cover. In the latest numbers, that actually hit a new high, which is pretty difficult because only 20.62 million shares were sold short as of the middle of March. Last year, the peak was nearly 41.6 million shares, so normally the higher the number of shares sold short, the more days it would take to cover.
Currently the ratio of days to cover is 2.54, which isn’t really high, although it was .31 two years ago. The big difference between now and then though is the difference in volume. On average day, the number of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) shares which are trading hands has declined significantly. Apple’s volume fell by more than 55% year over year, and in fact, it has been declining steadily.
Keurig Green Mountain shorts run for the hills
Keurig Green Mountain Inc (NASDAQ:GMCR)’s short interest has also fallen off in a big way in just a few months. In December, there were more than 41.6 million shares sold short, but by February, that number had fallen to less than 13.6 million. It’s likely that the deal with The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) sent short-sellers covering.
However, that could be about to change, as 3 million more shares were sold short in the first half of this month.
Netflix short interest continues falling
Meanwhile Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) has continued to show a downward trend in short interest. At this point, it is actually at the lowest level in two years. On the high end in September 2012, over 17.2 million shares had been sold short. That number is now down to fewer than 4.7 million shares.
Shares of Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ:NFLX) haven’t been performing too well though recently. Momentum stocks were hit hard this week with concerns over the Ukraine crisis. Some investors have simply wanted to take profits now that the stock is so high. And then when rumors that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) might enter the video streaming industry surfaced, shares fell even further. So the big question now is going to be whether any short sellers move to cover because of the fallen share price.
SolarCity short interest surges
Meanwhile as SolarCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY)’s share price as increased, so has short interest in the stocj. One year ago, there were only about 2.5 million shares being sold short. Now, however, over 11.3 million shares are being sold short. A major contributor has been the increase in the number of outstanding shares, which rose to 91 million from 75 million last year, according to regulatory filings.
Tesla short interest declines
Tesla Motors Inc (NASDAQ:TSLA) has had a very interesting history in terms of short interest. It was once one of Wall Street’s favorite short positions, but now, the stock is at the lowest level it has been in four months. The automaker’s stock hit a high in February, but they have since fallen, partially due to concerns about the next earnings report and also as part of this week’s momentum selloff. It’s possible some short sellers decided to cover during the decline.