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

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) remained first and second with virtually no change in either of them. Both stocks have around 70 million shares shorted.

Coming in third is Queensland’s Senex Energy (ASX:SXY) which has fallen 20 per cent over spring as the oil market continues to remain weak. Shareholders continued to heavily short Metals X (ASX:MLX), which is now down 70 per cent in 2019 with production cuts last month stemming the tide.

Shareholders of Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) and management are not singing from the same hymn sheet. While management said the clinical trial for its anti-acne drug was a success because it met secondary endpoints, its failure to meet the primary endpoint led to the stock halving and it has stagnated since.

Notable drops among heavily shorted stocks include Dacian Gold (ASX:DCN), which still has 15.7 million in shares shorted, but this is down 15 per cent in a month. It is a similar story with retailer Adairs (ASX:ADH) whose short interest is down 27 per cent. Both stocks saw sharp drops in June but have recovered.

Code Name Price (I) Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month Chg % Market Cap
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.36 70.97M -2.72 144.72M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 0.95 69.24M -0.01 378.77M
SXY SENEX ENERGY LTD 0.34 66.45M -0.85 495.06M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.51 58.28M 1.05 418.85M
INR IONEER LTD 0.2 53.02M 14.55 335.73M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.28 49.69M 13.72 181.79M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.12 46.49M 11.18 99.80M
FAR FAR LTD 0.05 45.73M 2.4 295.18M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.23 41.23M -3.99 171.69M
JMS JUPITER MINES LTD 0.25 32.96M -0.85 489.75M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.2 30.07M -0.03 113.88M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 28.36M -4.68 148.68M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.17 28.28M 0.01 162.00M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.23 23.40M -12.05 260.40M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.09 18.13M -0.8 152.63M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.38 15.66M -14.69 314.33M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.49 15.62M 53.16 282.11M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.62 13.21M -0.05 459.70M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.35 12.82M 28.88 492.88M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.04 12.62M 7.48 164.69M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 0.94 12.18M 0.98 353.06M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.13 11.23M 4.22 159.69M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.03 8.82M 48.75 69.03M
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.03 7.50M -2.02 30.76M
OEL OTTO ENERGY LTD 0.04 7.27M 393.27 88.58M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.09 7.26M 42.53 176.43M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.3 7.14M 28.14 245.34M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.16 7.04M 2.14 86.65M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.82 6.93M -27.12 301.89M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD 0.04 6.57M 695.46 99.08M
FBR FBR LTD 0.05 5.79M 5.29 81.77M
JHC JAPARA HEALTHCARE LTD 1.11 5.10M 2.34 303.33M
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.56 5.00M 3206.68 280.88M
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The newly shorted

One of 2019’s few IPO disappointments has been Life360 (ASX:360) but it’s taken over six months for shorters to act. It has shrunk by more than a third since listing despite user gains.

Stocks caught in sticky situations earlier this year were a target for shorters in recent days. These included rare earths explorer Hastings Technology Metals (ASX:HAS) which flunked a capital raise and cannabis company Althea (ASX:AGH) which saw a substantial holder sell out and at a hefty discount.

Cash Converters (ASX:CCV) recently put a three and a half year legal battle behind it, putting it on the radar of shorters. It had been accused of charging excessively high interest rates.

Boss Resources (ASX:BOE) is one of many uranium explorers hoping that prices will recover soon. Shorters evidently think it will be longer than Boss would like.

Code Name Price Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month Chg % Market Cap
360 LIFE360 INC-CDI 3.1 51.04k 340,180 460.00M
MGC MG UNIT TRUST 0.44 221.37k 7,772.26 246.14M
AGH ALTHEA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.39 557.05k 5,227.09 90.99M
HAS HASTINGS TECHNOLOGY METALS L 0.17 1.00M 5,049.86 159.44M
ACF ACROW FORMWORK AND CONSTRUCT 0.34 44.05k 4,729.93 64.11M
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.56 5.00M 3,206.68 280.88M
CCV CASH CONVERTERS INTL LTD 0.24 140.37k 2727.78 147.95M
CGR CML GROUP LTD 0.49 133.41k 2500.57 99.16M
EEG EMPIRE ENERGY GROUP LTD 0.46 202.44k 2140.08 112.89M
PEN PENINSULA ENERGY LTD 0.19 30.00k 984.99 45.55M
DRO DRONESHIELD LTD 0.3 1.71M 952.39 74.48M
AGY ARGOSY MINERALS LTD 0.08 1.44M 910.19 83.44M
BOE BOSS RESOURCES LTD 0.06 55.43k 839.37 92.07M
MML MEDUSA MINING LTD 0.67 10.43k 760.48 142.34M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD 0.04 6.57M 695.46 99.08M
WGO WARREGO ENERGY LTD 0.19 672.73k 572.73 141.82M
DNA DONACO INTL LTD 0.09 964.69k 497.14 71.65M
BET BETMAKERS TECHNOLOGY GROUP L 0.14 36.25k 474.52 75.76M
CGB CANN GLOBAL LTD 0.02 4.71M 426.49 54.41M
OEL OTTO ENERGY LTD 0.04 7.27M 393.27 88.58M
CEL CHALLENGER EXPLORATION LTD 0.07 61.70k 388.99 35.66M
DSE DROPSUITE LTD 0.05 674.11k 359.12 27.65M
CLV CLOVER CORP LTD 2.84 1.02k 329.11 473.98M
AC8 AUSCANN GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.2 119.13k 302.5 63.41M
OFX OFX GROUP LTD 1.38 2.01M 290.27 335.59M
OMH OM HOLDINGS LTD 0.5 16.14k 203.12 369.31M
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