• Despite rising more than 50% YTD Flight Centre remains the most shorted stock on the ASX
  • Megaport’s short position improves on upgraded guidance, while Zip second most shorted ASX stock
  • Several ASX lithium and resources stocks on short sellers list as Benchmark Lithium Price Index

How does shorting work?

Short sellers effectively borrow a stock from a broker, and go wager it (sell it) on the open market. The plan is to then buy the same stock back later after it’s made a hefty drop in price. That done, the short seller buys it back at the lower price and returns it to the lender.

The difference between the sell price and the buy price is the short seller’s profit. Investors are in effect betting they will fall.

Because shorting is restricted under Australian law (and because it’s an all or nothing bloodsport) any substantial shorting of stocks is worth knowing about, even if you only trade long.

And perhaps there’s method in the madness.

Stockhead has utilised the number of short positions as a percentage of total shares on issue. The most ASX shorted stocks  (excluding CDIs) all have 5% or more.

The most shorted stocks on ASX

Swipe or scroll to reveal full table. Click headings to sort:

Code Company Short positions Shares on issue % short positions
FLT FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL ORDINARY 25,528,054 217,957,864 12%
ZIP ZIP CO LTD ORDINARY 83,631,495 768,865,865 11%
JRV JERVOIS GLOBAL LTD ORDINARY 195,559,979 2,079,820,066 9%
CXO CORE LITHIUM ORDINARY 167,038,529 1,858,516,794 9%
SYA SAYONA MINING LTD ORDINARY 799,074,840 8,968,765,924 9%
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER LTD ORDINARY 10,355,705 122,949,702 8%
LKE LAKE RESOURCES ORDINARY 119,660,006 1,422,444,707 8%
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS ORDINARY 25,801,370 306,857,645 8%
AMA AMA GROUP LIMITED ORDINARY 88,419,273 1,073,070,217 8%
MP1 MEGAPORT LIMITED ORDINARY 12,676,547 158,423,600 8%
JBH JB HI-FI LIMITED ORDINARY 8,234,052 109,333,981 8%
BRG BREVILLE GROUP LTD ORDINARY 10,544,818 142,781,365 7%
SHV SELECT HARVESTS ORDINARY 8,887,855 121,058,664 7%
BRN BRAINCHIP LTD ORDINARY 124,984,356 1,767,058,145 7%
BET BETMAKERS TECH GROUP ORDINARY 64,728,643 943,541,600 7%
VUL VULCAN ENERGY ORDINARY 9,628,433 143,435,301 7%
ACL AU CLINICAL LABS ORDINARY 13,174,098 201,834,015 7%
IEL IDP EDUCATION LTD ORDINARY 17,011,606 278,336,211 6%
NVX NOVONIX LIMITED ORDINARY 29,595,807 486,882,930 6%
CCP CREDIT CORP GROUP ORDINARY 4,121,836 68,066,856 6%
BOE BOSS ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 21,120,210 352,578,862 6%
NXT NEXTDC LIMITED ORDINARY 27,193,741 457,429,783 6%
ARB ARB CORPORATION. ORDINARY 4,872,014 81,971,722 6%
BOQ BANK OF QUEENSLAND. ORDINARY 38,446,129 652,485,010 6%
INA INGENIA GROUP FPO/UNITS STAPLED 23,420,415 407,583,264 6%
PLS PILBARA MIN LTD ORDINARY 166,533,031 2,998,013,519 6%
MCR MINCOR RESOURCES NL ORDINARY 29,689,521 536,284,869 6%
DOW DOWNER EDI LIMITED ORDINARY 37,072,137 671,573,679 6%
LTR LIONTOWN RESOURCES ORDINARY 117,365,395 2,198,454,633 5%
AWC ALUMINA LIMITED ORDINARY 153,343,421 2,901,681,417 5%
ABB AUSSIE BROADBAND ORDINARY 12,263,562 237,682,509 5%
WEB WEBJET LIMITED ORDINARY 19,068,712 382,536,484 5%
SGR THE STAR ENT GRP ORDINARY 80,353,329 1,618,680,877 5%
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES ORDINARY 33,274,618 672,453,900 5%
EML EML PAYMENTS LTD ORDINARY 18,476,144 373,984,129 5%
IMU IMUGENE LIMITED ORDINARY 312,137,281 6,423,039,111 5%
LIC LIFESTYLE COMMUNIT. ORDINARY 4,981,180 104,545,131 5%
FFX FIREFINCH LTD ORDINARY 55,579,965 1,182,846,577 5%
APX APPEN LIMITED ORDINARY 5,833,679 124,319,061 5%
MSB MESOBLAST LIMITED ORDINARY 33,682,278 737,121,218 5%
NCK NICK SCALI LIMITED ORDINARY 3,683,273 81,000,000 5%
DYL DEEP YELLOW LIMITED ORDINARY 34,320,017 755,724,087 5%
HVN HARVEY NORMAN ORDINARY 56,411,732 1,246,006,654 5%
CGC COSTA GROUP HOLDINGS ORDINARY 20,919,492 464,709,793 5%
29M 29METALSLIMITED ORDINARY 21,327,504 482,052,092 4%
BLD BORAL LIMITED. ORDINARY 47,801,739 1,103,088,419 4%
SGP STOCKLAND FPO/UNITS STAPLED 102,292,258 2,387,171,662 4%
MTS METCASH LIMITED ORDINARY 40,452,002 965,541,602 4%
A2M THE A2 MILK COMPANY ORDINARY 30,166,391 721,976,214 4%
SGM SIMS LIMITED ORDINARY 7,928,171 193,174,303 4%
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD ORDINARY 4,342,668 107,076,543 4%
DHG DOMAIN HOLDINGS AUS ORDINARY 24,674,797 631,657,153 4%
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD ORDINARY 114,154,263 2,980,097,705 4%
MYX MAYNE PHARMA LTD ORDINARY 3,199,815 85,074,288 4%
CIP CENTURIA I REIT ORDINARY UNITS 23,745,838 634,930,635 4%
NWS NEWS CORP.. B VOTING CDI 1:1 1,248,067 33,739,198 4%
NEC NINE ENTERTAINMENT ORDINARY 62,763,386 1,705,393,253 4%
CXL CALIX LIMITED ORDINARY 6,662,742 181,086,220 4%
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD ORDINARY 128,567,057 3,528,729,748 4%
BGA BEGA CHEESE LTD ORDINARY 10,874,207 304,247,980 4%
NIC NICKEL INDUSTRIES ORDINARY 107,653,434 3,024,257,273 4%
MAF MA FINANCIAL GROUP ORDINARY 6,292,837 178,401,945 4%
MFG MAGELLAN FIN GRP LTD ORDINARY 6,392,236 181,431,899 4%
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Flight Centre remains ASX’s most shorted stock

Short sellers still think 2023 might be a turbulent trip for Flight Centre (ASX:FLT) which remains the ASX’s most shorted stock despite rising more than 50% year after the travel sector continues its recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic.

FLT has also undertaken a a successful $240 million cap raise, including $180 million from institutional investors and $60 million share purchase plan. Funds from the raise were used to buy Scott Dunn, a leading UK-based luxury travel brand specialising in tailor-made luxury holidays, for an enterprise value of £121 million ($211 million).


The FLT share price today:


Megaport position improves as Zip moves to second place

Data centre/NaaS stock Megaport (ASX:MP1)  has seen its short position improve from 10% to 8%. In our last Short & Caught article at the start of April, MP1 was the second most shorted stock on the ASX with a short position of 10%, which is now down to 8%.

But the company’s share price also soared 34% in April after announcing it now expects to report normalised EBITDA in FY23 in the range of $16m to $18m, and $41m to $46m in FY24.

The latest figures are materially above market consensus of $9m in FY23 and $30m in FY24.

Replacing MP1 in second spot is BNPL stock Zip Co (ASX:ZIP), which recently released its  Q3 FY23 results, including group quarterly revenue which grew 15% year on year (YoY) to $182.1m with transaction volume for the quarter up 9% YoY to $2.2 billion.

The company’s core cash transaction margin also increased to 2.8%, a 30 basis point increase YoY,  while revenue margin for the core business improved to 8.3%, vs 7.9% in Q3 FY22.

The company said it was a strong result considering the rising interest rate environment.  The company also announced a brand new partnership with Peloton Australia, bringing its financing option to Peloton customers nationwide.


The MP1 & ZIP share price today:



Lithium and resources stocks on short sellers list

Short sellers are continuing to targeted several ASX lithium plays including Core Lithium (ASX:CXO), Sayona Mining (ASX:SYA),  Lake Resources (ASX:LKE)  and Liontown Resources (LTR).

As Stockhead’s Bevis Yeo reported, prices of battery-grade lithium have been falling, with the Benchmark Lithium Price Index down 12.9% in the assessment period from 19 April to 3 May as international prices continue to fall in lagged response to the price decline in China across the first quarter.

Lithium hydroxide prices dove 16.9% to US$38,217/t while lithium carbonate was down 9.9% to US$35,333.

However, spodumene concentrate pricing was down just 5% to US$4,750/t with Benchmark noting that some contracts with longer lags are set to remain high throughout the quarter. Pricing for technical grade lithium carbonate climbed 8.1% to US$24,3000/t in the week from 26 April to 3 May.

Cobalt miner Jervois Mining (ASX:JRV) is also on the list of short sellers with low cobalt prices forcing the company to suspend construction at its Idaho cobalt ops in the US.

However, in some good news for JRV, which refines cobalt for battery makers in Finland, it entered positive cash flow in the March quarter, turning over US$1.3 million after ramping up cobalt sales by 15% to 1558t.

The company is planning to expand its refinery business into the USA, where it hopes to leverage support from the Inflation Reduction Act.


The CXO, SYA, LKE, LTR & JRV share price today: