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

Because short interest represents short trades that have been made but not closed out, you may see short interest decline when a company falls.

This happened with Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX:BOT) which has 12 million shares shorted — 26 per cent lower than a month ago.

A disappointing clinical trial led to its shares halving, presenting an ideal opportunity for shorters to close out their trades.

Graphite miner Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) has 73.3 million shares shorted — 9 per cent higher than a month ago.

Lithium miner Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) is not far behind with 68 million, but this has only grown 3 per cent in the last month.

Among non-resources companies with short interest over 5 million included retailer Myer (ASX:MYR) and satellite play Speedcast (ASX:SDA).

Moving up the list is Internet of things (IoT) Buddy Technologies (ASX:BUD), house building robot maker FBR (ASX:FBR) and West African Resources (ASX:WAF).

Code Name Price (I) Short Interest (Shares) 1 Month % Change Market Cap
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.47 73.32M 9.21 169.48M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 1.01 67.89M 2.73 399.24M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.55 57.86M 1.86 451.70M
INR IONEER LTD 0.26 45.88M 8.89 369.37M
FAR FAR LTD 0.05 44.59M 2.74 332.86M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.38 44.06M 13.75 229.42M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.25 42.83M -2.62 179.15M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.17 42.02M 64.19 149.70M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.21 29.98M 0.67 115.20M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 29.95M -1.7 132.55M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.19 28.28M 0.06 163.03M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.21 24.15M -14.17 248.83M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.48 18.29M -5.96 333.69M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.09 18.28M -1.84 163.40M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.48 16.53M 195.65 417.83M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.66 13.31M 1.5 470.05M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 1.05 12.11M 4.07 355.39M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.02 11.92M 82.27 83.14M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.24 10.82M 0.74 175.31M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.55 10.74M 133.69 310.60M
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD 0.47 10.61M 10.23 406.14M
BWX BWX LTD 4.04 9.96M -3.92 494.51M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.21 9.94M 13.06 442.67M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.82 9.50M -0.17 299.40M
KAR KAROON ENERGY LTD 0.95 8.23M 197.14 415.94M
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.04 7.70M 41.93 34.49M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.14 6.90M 2.56 65.94M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.02 6.55M 269.46 42.60M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.09 5.68M -5.09 174.40M
FBR FBR LTD 0.06 5.57M 13.01 82.84M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.31 5.49M 1.84 241.25M
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The newly shorted

Topping the list of newly shorted stocks was takeover target CSG (ASX:CSV). Fuji Xerox wants to buy the IT services company for $140m.

Also newly shorted was Cash Converters (ASX:CCV), which a fortnight ago finally settled its three-year long legal battle against customers which alleged they were charged excessive interest rates. Shareholders saw a long gradual decline but a rally occurred when the case was settled.

After months of battling for Xenith IP (ASX:XIP), Qantm Intellectual Property (ASX:QIP) gave up the chase to IPH in April. The stock rallied over winter but has begun to decline in spring.

One catalyst could be the retirement of CEO Leon Allen (who has been with the company since its listing), who will be replaced in January by Craig Dower — the past CEO of Xenith.

Code Name Price Short Interest (Shares) 1 Month % Change Market Cap
CSV CSG LTD 0.31 7.22k 722,200 137.02M
3PL 3P LEARNING LTD 0.94 260.00k 139,684.95 131.07M
CCV CASH CONVERTERS INTL LTD 0.22 70.50k 16,765.79 138.70M
QIP QANTM INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY 1.36 23.87k 2,804.38 180.95M
BID BIDENERGY LTD 0.56 384.23k 2,781.16 69.39M
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.7 182.04k 1,920.24 361.86M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH LTD 0.82 475.00k 1,515.92 209.91M
WGO WARREGO ENERGY LTD 0.28 1.92M 1,435.34 198.55M
IMM IMMUTEP LTD 0.03 4.49M 1,047.81 108.56M
DNA DONACO INTL LTD 0.1 231.23k 766.77 80.71M
DRO DRONESHIELD LTD 0.41 162.71k 619.08 100.91M
TLX TELIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.58 54.05k 533.36 402.72M
ATU ATRUM COAL LTD 0.34 77.79k 528.83 159.42M
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD 0.68 209.13k 391.71 198.84M
CEL CHALLENGER EXPLORATION LTD 0.07 61.70k 388.99 34.25M
DEM DE.MEM LTD 0.31 162.31k 358.22 47.20M
OPC OPTICOMM LTD 4.1 36.07k 349.86 416.30M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.02 6.55M 269.46 42.60M
MCR MINCOR RESOURCES NL 0.67 167.67k 266.79 176.35M
AMS ATOMOS LTD 1.65 189.33k 235.17 291.83M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD 0.05 825.64k 230.26 105.99M
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD 0.61 86.03k 206.91 245.77M
CGB CANN GLOBAL LTD 0.02 1.16M 201.86 72.72M
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