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.

Stockhead’s two preferred metrics are raw short interest as well as percentage changes in them within the last month.


The most shorted

The two most shorted small caps remain Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) as the markets for their respective commodities, graphite and lithium, remain oversupplied.

Notable risers up the list of stocks with short interest above 5 million shares included MetalsX (ASX:MLX), which has 41.3 million shares shorted.

Last Friday the company said it was falling short of its targeted increase in mining production rate to 2 million tonnes per annum and it fell over 20 per cent. Its fall has continued this week.

Among non-resources stocks StarPharma (ASX:SPL) has 11.6 million shares shorted – a rise of 20 per cent in a month. This was despite the company launching its anti-bacterial vaginosis (BV) gel in the UK last week.

Also, heavily shorted is internet of things play Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD), which has 5.7 million shares.

Code Name Price Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month Chg % Market Cap
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.46 73.23M 3.29 190.21M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 1.05 66.29M -4.67 442.24M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.55 58.41M 1.87 459.92M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.35 47.60M 19.16 223.05M
INR IONEER LTD 0.23 46.54M 3.34 339.97M
FAR FAR LTD 0.05 43.55M -0.24 314.02M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.26 42.07M -3.39 197.81M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.17 41.31M 47.88 163.31M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.21 30.31M 1.41 118.08M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.19 28.28M 0.06 166.63M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 28.22M -6.5 134.88M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.22 24.62M -11.37 254.61M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.42 18.14M 79.43 374.31M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.09 17.85M -3.29 158.02M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.38 16.40M -10.62 325.72M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.65 13.20M 1.83 469.63M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.47 12.59M 37.2 267.86M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 0.99 11.96M 8.58 358.55M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.05 11.96M 11.45 162.67M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.33 11.57M 20.69 483.58M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.21 10.87M 1.25 173.89M
KAR KAROON ENERGY LTD 1.04 8.90M 227.04 465.70M
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.04 7.52M 14.85 37.28M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.22 6.96M 1.66 104.49M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.09 6.71M -13.93 178.45M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.84 6.66M -30.07 296.09M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.33 6.06M 4.08 261.70M
FBR FBR LTD 0.06 5.77M 5.95 78.63M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.02 5.72M 116.89 54.43M
JHC JAPARA HEALTHCARE LTD 1.1 5.25M 4.54 295.31M
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The newly shorted

Of stocks with less than 5 million shares shorted but with hefty increases in recent weeks, the leader is Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK).

The gold and copper explorer is up 70 per cent, triggered by the discovery of porphyry style mineralisation at its New South Wales project.

It is undertaking follow-up drilling.

Pain detecting app PainChek (ASX:PCK) has never looked back since its watershed funding agreement from the Morrison government. It’s up nearly 10 times since then.

But there is now 134,000 shares shorted – 1,290 per cent more than a month ago.

Another one of 2019’s successful stories (in fact, the most successful among IPOs), Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) also has short interest to the tune of just over $2m.

Code Name Price Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month Chg % Market Cap
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.63 3.71M 41,124.44 326.43M
DRO DRONESHIELD LTD 0.33 1.04M 3,876.58 82.05M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS LTD 0.09 539.29k 2,896.07 88.52M
QIP QANTM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 1.34 23.87k 2,804.38 180.95M
CGR CML GROUP LTD 0.46 133.41k 2,500.57 92.80M
CMM CAPRICORN METALS LTD 0.19 777.26k 1,686.43 324.74M
CCV CASH CONVERTERS INTL LTD 0.24 134.98k 1,604.75 144.86M
PCK PAINCHEK LTD 0.3 134.39k 1,290.5 278.87M
PEN PENINSULA ENERGY LTD 0.22 30.00k 984.99 56.17M
CGB CANN GLOBAL LTD 0.02 4.06M 951.48 54.41M
TLX TELIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.89 64.25k 652.88 468.57M
WGO WARREGO ENERGY LTD 0.24 672.73k 572.73 170.18M
ATU ATRUM COAL LTD 0.32 77.79k 528.83 157.20M
UWL UNITI GROUP LTD 1.68 2.05M 475.65 428.66M
CEL CHALLENGER EXPLORATION LTD 0.07 61.70k 388.99 32.38M
DNA DONACO INTL LTD 0.08 963.74k 378.58 68.36M
DSE DROPSUITE LTD 0.04 674.11k 359.12 21.72M
OPC OPTICOMM LTD 4.25 36.07k 349.86 442.32M
WLL WELLCOM GROUP LTD 6.7 3.66k 278.47 262.84M
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD 0.71 159.13k 274.15 214.32M
DEG DE GREY MINING LTD 0.05 1.45M 268.46 49.74M
KME KIP MCGRATH EDUCATION CENTRE 1.15 45.39k 251.95 48.85M
FGR FIRST GRAPHENE LTD 0.14 41.75k 235.28 64.09M
KAR KAROON ENERGY LTD 1.04 8.90M 227.04 465.70M
RUL RPMGLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0.87 92.75k 203.36 186.93M
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