• Flight Centre remains the most shorted stock on the ASX
  • Punters continue to bet against the sports betting sector
  • Short sellers also have sights on health and resources stocks

In Short & Caught, Stockhead recaps the ASX stocks that are the most shorted and have had the greatest increase in short interest right now.
 

How does shorting work?

Shorting works by selling stocks you do not actually own in the hope of buying them back at a lower price. Investors are in effect betting they will fall.

Because shorting is restricted under Australian law, any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about, even if you only trade long.

Stockhead has utilised the number of short positions as a percentage of total shares on issue. The most shorted ASX stocks all have 5.5 per cent or more.
 

Here are the top most shorted ASX stocks

Code Company Short positions Shares on issue % short positions
FLT FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL ORDINARY 34,279,818 199,747,439 17.16%
BET BETMAKERS TECH GROUP ORDINARY 123,034,266 903,460,347 13.62%
NAN NANOSONICS LIMITED ORDINARY 37,662,708 301,833,182 12.48%
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD ORDINARY 11,024,656 106,927,603 10.31%
PNV POLYNOVO LIMITED ORDINARY 66,419,695 661,688,044 10.04%
EML EML PAYMENTS LTD ORDINARY 37,411,997 373,460,316 10.02%
WEB WEBJET LIMITED ORDINARY 35,623,758 380,509,819 9.36%
AMA AMA GROUP LIMITED ORDINARY 91,117,308 1,022,435,377 8.91%
APX APPEN LIMITED ORDINARY 10,952,508 123,383,996 8.88%
ZIP ZIP CO LTD.. ORDINARY 56,484,093 685,262,765 8.24%
MSB MESOBLAST LIMITED ORDINARY 52,501,787 650,454,551 8.07%
RRL REGIS RESOURCES ORDINARY 60,295,470 754,776,298 7.99%
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS ORDINARY 20,475,075 264,868,212 7.73%
OBL OMNI BRIDGEWAY LTD ORD US PROHIBITED 20,102,531 268,639,670 7.48%
LAM LARAMIDE RES LTD CDI 1:1 88,998 1,190,258 7.48%
ING INGHAMS GROUP ORDINARY 26,867,014 371,679,601 7.23%
TYR TYRO PAYMENTS ORDINARY 35,456,541 517,213,596 6.86%
CUV CLINUVEL PHARMACEUT. ORDINARY 3,369,326 49,410,338 6.82%
SQ2 BLOCK CDI 1:1 NYSE 3,027,409 44,872,018 6.75%
VUL VULCAN ENERGY ORDINARY 8,234,173 131,645,090 6.25%
NEA NEARMAP LTD ORDINARY 30,543,870 499,070,294 6.12%
AGL AGL ENERGY LIMITED. ORDINARY 40,435,417 672,747,233 6.01%
DUB DUBBER CORP LTD ORDINARY 17,743,329 304,606,199 5.83%
MP1 MEGAPORT LIMITED ORDINARY 9,047,940 157,949,016 5.73%
ADH ADAIRS LIMITED ORDINARY 9,809,967 171,316,433 5.73%
IEL IDP EDUCATION LTD ORDINARY 15,916,660 278,336,211 5.72%
NHC NEW HOPE CORPORATION ORDINARY 43,726,971 832,357,082 5.25%
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 154,283,376 2,956,945,668 5.22%
ANN ANSELL LIMITED ORDINARY 6,653,863 127,692,821 5.21%
BRG BREVILLE GROUP LTD ORDINARY 7,204,958 139,359,544 5.17%
RBL REDBUBBLE LIMITED ORDINARY 14,240,220 275,920,223 5.16%
BOQ BANK OF QUEENSLAND. ORDINARY 33,143,879 642,625,584 5.16%
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER LTD ORDINARY 6,165,138 120,514,583 5.12%
MFG MAGELLAN FIN GRP LTD ORDINARY 9,435,038 185,713,004 5.08%
CCX CITY CHIC COLLECTIVE ORDINARY 11,776,800 231,920,086 5.08%

 

Flight Centre remains most shorted stock

Short positions in Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) has once again seen FLT win gold as the ASX most shorted stock.  Flight Centre’s short position remains at 17.9%.  There’s no question the Covid-19 pandemic hit Flight Centre and the travel sector hard but it has been recovering as Australia’s borders reopen.  Shares in the company are up ~6% in the past month to ~20.64,  but short sellers don’t seem as optimistic.

 

Travel booking platform Webjet (ASX:WEB) has also been targeted by short sellers. Webjet has a short position of 9.36%, despite a more optimistic outlook on travel and the company’s share price jumping 5.47% in the past month to ~$5.60.
 

Bets against sports betting sector 

Short sellers continue to tip losses for the sports betting sector.  Betmakers (ASX:BET) was the second most shorted stock with a short position of 13.62%.

Betmakers operates a platform model providing the back-end technology for bookmakers primarily in horse racing. Its share price has fallen ~15% in the past month and ~67% in the past year to ~48 cents.

Pointsbet (ASX:PBH)  recently reported solid Q3 FY22 results, including turnover up 54% to a quarterly record of ~$1.4 billion, and net win (total amount wagered take away the total amount paid to players for winning wagers) up 18% on prior corresponding period (pcp) at $76.9 million.

But the good results haven’t been enough to persuade short sellers with a short position of 7.73%. The company’s stock has fallen ~80% in the past year to ~2.66.
 

Health stocks off colour to short sellers

Despite the S&P/ASX 200 healthcare index being slightly up for the past month at ~0.76%, short sellers still don’t seem confident of its prospects in a volatile market digesting high inflation and rising interest rates.

Nanosonics (ASX:NAN), which has developed and commercialised the trophon EPR device, an automated disinfectant technology for ultrasound probes, has seen 12.48% of its stock shorted.  The company’s shares have been sold off this year due to a major change in its US sales model. Share in Nanosonics have tumbled ~11% in the past month to ~$3.44.

Wound care company Polynovo (ASX:PNV) has a short position of ~10%, despite the company recently reporting a record (unaudited) Q3 FY22 with revenue of $12.26m, up 59.3% on pcp. Shares in Polynovo continue to feel the brunt of a selloff in high growth stocks to value stocks down ~11% in the past month to ~93 cents.

Cellular medicines company Mesoblast (ASX:MSB) is also in the eyes of short sellers with a short position of 8.07%. Mesoblast has ongoing clinical research activities in the country to commercialise a drug that treats GVHD (graft versus host disease), which is a severe inflammation in the bloodstream caused by complications of bone marrow transplants.

The company’s share price has fallen ~12% in the past month to ~$1.01.

A darling of the Covid-19 pandemic, protective personal equipment (PPE) specialist Ansell (ASX:ANN), has also got a short position of 5.21%.  The company’s share price is up ~3.17% in the past month to $26.34.
 

Short sellers take aim at payments & e-commerce stocks

Payments company EML Payments (ASX:EML) has a short interest of ~9.5%. The company recently downgraded its revenue and profit guidance in its Q3 FY22 report on the back of rising costs and less new projects. Its share price has fallen 47.64% in the past month to ~$1.44.

BNPL player Zip Co (ASX:ZIP) has a short interest of 8.24%. Zip has fallen out of favour with investors of late with its share price down ~28% in the past month to ~$1.

Zip is scheduled to release millions of ordinary shares from voluntary escrow in May going into June.

Fintech Tyro Payments (ASX:TYR) has a short interest of 6.86%. The Tyro share price has fallen ~31% in the past month to $1.04.

Block Inc (ASX:SQ2) has a short interest of 6.75%.  Block disappointed the market with its quarterly earnings last night, as it reported a 22% decline on its revenue to $US3.96 billion for the March quarter.
 

Other shares shorted

The e-commerce stocks Kogan (ASX:KGN),  RedBubble (ASX:RBL),  Temple & Webster (ASX:TPW)  and City Chic Collective (ASX:CCX) also continue to attract short selling positions.

Uranium miner and exploration company Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN),  coal miner New Hope Corporation (ASX:NHC) and gold miner Regis Resources (ASX:RRL) were among resources stocks shorted.