Short and Caught: The ASX stocks investors are shorting right now
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Short & Caught is Stockhead’s fortnightly recap of which ASX small cap stocks are heavily shorted. Stocks that are shorted have investors betting that they fall.
Shorting works by selling stocks you do not actually own in the hope of buying them back at a lower price.
Because shorting is restricted under Australian law, any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about even if you own these stocks and only trade long.
The most shorted ASX small cap right now is retailer Myer (ASX:MYR). The company is gradually opening its stores after closing them for six weeks during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite oil prices staging a recovery in recent days, energy stocks remain heavily shorted, led by Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) with 55.8m in shares shorted.
Radio station operator Southern Cross Media (ASX:SXL) saw a significant increase in the amount of shorted shares, which jumped 61 per cent to 48.2m.
In the last 12 months the stock has shrunk 82 per cent, bearing the brunt of COVID-19 and the resulting falling advertising revenues.
Buy now, pay later stock FlexiGroup (ASX:FXL) saw a tripling in its short interest to 8.5 million shares.
While the company reported active customers and trading volumes had risen during COVID-19, analysts remain concerned about the impact a long-running economic downturn could have, particularly if it led to defaults by its customers.
One stock shorters may have been wrong on is fibre network operator Superloop (ASX:SLC).
The stock has 15 million shares shorted but yesterday it told shareholders it remained on track to reach its previous earnings guidance. The reason was a 30 per cent spike in traffic on its network in the Asia-Pacific region.