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

Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) and Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) are the two most shorted small caps on the ASX. The gap between the two is narrowing as the short interest against Galaxy reduces.

Galaxy has been one of the stocks worst hit by low lithium prices. But last week’s news from Lake Resources’ (ASX:LKE) that its disruptive lithium brine processing tech works really well showed there are signs of life in this sector.

Proceeding behind them was oil explorer FAR (ASX:FAR). Its project is in Senegal and last week it was granted development approval. However, first oil is not expected until early 2023.

Two other stocks made a sharp rise up the list of most shorted stocks. First is uranium miner Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN), which like its peers has suffered from low uranium prices for years.

Second is Kentucky focused coal miner Paringa Resources (ASX:PNL), which now has $6m in short interest against it.

Code Name Price Short Interest 1 Month % Change Market Cap
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 1.17 66.92M -6.18 475.00M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.57 66.22M 1.48 225.45M
FAR FAR LTD 0.04 63.78M 36.58 270.06M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.5 58.65M 1.24 406.53M
INR IONEER LTD 0.18 51.76M 1.01 310.55M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.26 48.84M -6.71 169.03M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.28 39.63M -2.89 194.08M
SWM SEVEN WEST MEDIA LTD 0.32 39.04M -7.82 492.17M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.08 31.72M -24.78 70.77M
SDA SPEEDCAST INTERNATIONAL LTD 1 30.36M -8.9 242.14M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.17 28.25M -0.05 162.00M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 25.71M -10.82 153.64M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.42 20.62M -8.57 369.95M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.25 18.57M -18.88 289.33M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.07 18.35M 0 127.49M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.51 18.29M 3.89 287.81M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.2 15.59M -43.34 112.44M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.09 15.13M 101.96 182.51M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.03 14.31M 23.19 76.17M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.17 14.01M 3.79 446.98M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.65 13.19M -0.1 476.39M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 0.92 12.27M -5.28 338.43M
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.1 11.42M -28.79 97.27M
ECX ECLIPX GROUP LTD 1.42 10.56M 8.97 455.48M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.5 9.69M -33.33 346.22M
PET PHOSLOCK ENVIRONMENTAL TECHN 0.76 8.15M -2.71 432.22M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.11 7.99M 3.39 156.14M
OEL OTTO ENERGY LTD 0.04 7.43M -8.05 91.04M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.17 7.18M 1.12 84.32M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.26 6.87M -5.94 228.01M
MSV MITCHELL SERVICES LTD 0.06 6.70M 0 119.54M
FBR FBR LTD 0.05 6.36M -49.28 77.96M
PNL PARINGA RESOURCES LTD 0.04 6.00M 5405305.5 25.94M
JHC JAPARA HEALTHCARE LTD 1.04 5.97M 13.56 273.93M
CGB CANN GLOBAL LTD 0.02 5.31M -10.52 54.58M

 

The newly shorted

Following Paringa as the ASX small cap with the biggest monthly percentage increase in short interest is Retail Food Group (ASX:RFG). The company is Australia’s largest fast food franchise owner of franchises including Donut King, Gloria Jeans and Crust.

It had a horror 2019, falling over 70 per cent and having to recapitalise the company and raise nearly $200m.

Other stocks experiencing troubled times of late that have begun to attract shorter attention include Guyana-focused gold explorer Troy Resources (ASX:TRY) and online market place Redbubble (ASX:RBL).

One stock that has been targeted despite having a great 2019 overall is Orthocell (ASX:OCC). Last year its nerve regeneration technology was shown to work and shares went ballistic. Nevertheless, it has fallen from its all time high and had to raise capital last year.

Code Name Price Short Interest Short Interest 1 Month % Change Market Cap
PNL PARINGA RESOURCES LTD 0.04 6.00M 5,405,305.5 25.94M
RFG RETAIL FOOD GROUP LTD 0.1 122.44k 2,448,600 209.68M
ALC ALCIDION GROUP LTD 0.18 575.71k 103,073.3 178.32M
RAP RESAPP HEALTH LTD 0.26 487.29k 88,337.57 184.51M
VR8 VANADIUM RESOURCES LTD 0.03 954.80k 24,849.05 11.23M
DCG DECMIL GROUP LTD 0.5 11.09k 3376.8 119.63M
MVF MONASH IVF GROUP LTD 1.02 10.43k 2232.44 238.14M
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER GROUP LTD 2.89 15.74k 1614.05 326.66M
BLK BLACKHAM RESOURCES LTD 0.01 459.82k 1089.09 56.59M
ADT ADRIATIC METALS PLC-CDI 1.63 9.82k 1051.23 295.17M
WLD WELLARD LTD 0.06 59.54k 876.74 32.41M
RBL REDBUBBLE LTD 1.1 641.09k 597.63 285.96M
OCC ORTHOCELL LTD 0.44 309.34k 591.47 82.04M
NZC NZURI COPPER LTD 0.29 5.33k 517.96 84.33M
EGH EUREKA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.38 4.44k 463.45 87.41M
REX REGIONAL EXPRESS HOLDINGS LT 1.2 8.65k 429.52 131.08M
HRL HRL HOLDINGS LTD 0.12 40.00k 369.04 59.21M
TRY TROY RESOURCES LTD 0.1 310.79k 292.14 61.94M
FCT FIRSTWAVE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY L 0.16 29.45k 255.11 50.57M
VESG VGD ETHIC CONS INTL SH IDX 58.11 19.88k 237.63 73.50M
PFP PROPEL FUNERAL PARTNERS LTD 3.48 4.21k 229.4 337.68M
NEU NEUREN PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 2.6 734 217.75 268.24M
OFX OFX GROUP LTD 1.37 673.29k 212.02 345.74M
HAS HASTINGS TECHNOLOGY METALS L 0.13 3.05M 204.8 127.43M