Best Buy Co., Inc. (BBY) Beset By Short Sellers

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Beleaguered electronics retailer Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) has been making a comeback over the last few quarters. However, the most recently released short interest data shows that not everybody believes that the improved stock price based on turnaround hopes is warranted.

Short interest data

The current short interest data represents shares sold short as of the December 13, 2013 settlement date. Data released today shows a 3,041,569 share increase in short interest for Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY), meaning the total short interest now stands at 24,270,351. That is a 14.33% increase in the total short position since the previous report on November 29, 2013.

The three million share plus increase in Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY)’s short position pumped up the “days to cover” metric (based on average volume of shares sold short) to 4.96, a whopping 123.71% increase from the 2.22 days to cover just two weeks prior.

Best Buy on a run

Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY) has been on a run throughout most of 2013. 2012 was a tough year, with bankruptcy rumors swirling and a major restructuring in the offing. Things began to pick up pretty quickly for Best Buy in 2013, however, with the stock bouncing off its 52-week low of $11.20 to break $15 by the end of January.

Continuing good news, especially including significantly reduced expenses and improving sales and margins led Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY) shares to go on a tear in Spring and Summer 2013, running up to $30 by July, and topping out at $44.26 in early November.

Keeping costs down

The company’s management has focused on keeping overhead to a minimum. Best Buy Inc (NYSE: BBY)’s president and CEO, Hubert Joly emphasized efforts to control costs in a November statement, “Our third quarter top-line results make it clear that our focus on delivering our unique customer promises is starting to pay off. It is also clear that our efforts to control costs and to bring greater efficiency to our operations are improving our profitability. While we remain mindful of the fact that we still have a long way to go, we are pleased with the progress of our Renew Blue transformation efforts.”

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