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

The list of stocks at the top remained largely the same this fortnight led with Syrah Resources (ASX: SYR) and Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY). Both are in commodity markets, graphite and lithium respectively, which have been struggling in 2019.

Gold has been doing far better but this has not stopped gold miners such as Amani Gold (ASX: AML), Dacian Gold (ASX: DCN) and Aurelia Metals (ASX: AMI) from being shorted. Similarly, uranium miner Paladian Energy (ASX: PDN) appeared on the list and the high-flying Strike Energy (ASX: STX).

Among non-resources stocks that are highly shorted is retailer Adairs (ASX: ADH), pot play Botanix Pharmaceuticals (ASX: BOT) and Ardent Leisure (ASX: ALG).

Code Name Price Short Interest Market Cap
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.49 67.10M 202.55M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 0.94 66.33M 384.91M
SXY SENEX ENERGY LTD 0.34 59.95M 495.06M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.58 56.68M 480.45M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.29 43.86M 216.47M
FAR FAR LTD 0.06 43.20M 351.70M
INR IONEER LTD 0.17 42.16M 258.12M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.23 39.44M 149.76M
ANL AMANI GOLD LTD 0.003 33.33M 15.64M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.07 30.36M 158.13M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.25 29.60M 144.00M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.17 28.26M 150.16M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.22 28.13M 260.40M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.17 26.42M 146.15M
SDA SPEEDCAST INTERNATIONAL LTD 1.13 22.68M 270.91M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.45 19.22M 326.97M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.08 18.62M 141.85M
ALG ARDENT LEISURE GROUP LTD 0.96 17.57M 460.52M
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.22 16.37M 217.01M
SEA SUNDANCE ENERGY AUSTRALIA LTD 0.16 14.15M 106.57M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 1.02 10.75M 314.10M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.22 10.74M 171.50M
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD 0.42 10.42M 366.84M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.9 9.65M 315.99M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.15 8.99M 429.61M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.1 8.34M 201.49M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.02 8.03M 75.81M
STX STRIKE ENERGY LTD 0.26 6.98M 409.20M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.17 6.74M 88.77M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.46 5.75M 396.07M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.36 5.54M 289.27M
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.04 5.47M 34.49M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.58 5.19M 330.41M

The newly shorted

Last month Nike gave sales platform Bigtincan (ASX: BTH) a ringing endorsement with a $2.8 million contract. Shares went on a run for a few weeks but have been declining and investors have begun to short the stock.

Another newly shorted stock is casino operator Donaco (ASX: DNA) which has been plagued with executive turnover and legal problems in the countries it operates. Logistics stock GetSwift (ASX: GSW) is another — it has tripled in just over 2 months.

PointsBet (ASX: PBH) has popped up as a newly shorted stock too. It listed at $2 and is now $3.56 — and shorters believe whatever goes up must come down.

Kip McGrath retired from the company that he gave his name to — Kip McGrath Education Centres (ASX: KIP). While he passed his shares and board position to his son, shorters remain unconvinced that things will be the same.

Code Name Price Short Interest Short Interest 1 Month Chg % Market Cap
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD 0.54 42.53k 4,252,900 163.66M
DNA DONACO INTL LTD 0.07 26.68k 1,333,750 56.83M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.46 5.75M 6317.05 396.07M
MVP MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS INTERNATIONAL 4.99 7.82k 2179.3 327.38M
MCP MCPHERSON'S LTD 2.34 21.56k 1655.29 250.01M
GSW GETSWIFT LTD 0.62 817.18k 1639.02 116.89M
MOD MOD RESOURCES LTD 0.44 1.91M 1465.84 147.96M
PAC PACIFIC CURRENT GROUP LTD 6.52 5.51k 1377.48 310.63M
BID BIDENERGY LTD 0.61 13.34k 1191 70.35M
MEB MEDIBIO LTD 0.01 688.99k 1100.23 12.94M
ANO ADVANCE NANOTEK LTD 5.82 12.18k 1081.38 342.92M
SXE SOUTHERN CROSS ELECTRICAL 0.58 1.20k 856.8 136.14M
NEU NEUREN PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 2.08 231 788.46 214.59M
VHT VOLPARA HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES 1.61 260.67k 669.06 349.99M
DTL DATA#3 LTD 3 153.16k 612.57 461.92M
NUH NUHEARA LTD 0.03 386.34k 478.71 35.05M
DNK DANAKALI LTD 0.63 37.73k 477.81 165.83M
STX STRIKE ENERGY LTD 0.26 6.98M 474.77 409.20M
NEW NEW ENERGY SOLAR LTD 1.26 395.82k 471.81 442.34M
AQZ ALLIANCE AVIATION SERVICES L 2.3 635.92k 441.09 289.10M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.9 9.65M 435.75 315.99M
EAR ECHO RESOURCES LTD 0.33 216.00k 410.75 233.92M
DEM DE.MEM LTD 0.22 162.31k 358.22 33.27M
RUL RPMGLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0.75 35.08k 310.71 162.43M
DEG DE GREY MINING LTD 0.06 454.69k 306.84 55.37M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.02 8.03M 277.17 75.81M
ERF ELANOR RETAIL PROPERTY FUND 1.25 90.39k 275.14 160.91M
EVS ENVIROSUITE LTD 0.36 539.59k 271.37 142.45M
IGL IVE GROUP LTD 2.03 60.75k 239.28 300.86M
TLX TELIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.34 8.53k 238.65 339.40M
PPK PPK GROUP LTD 4.03 411 223.62 332.43M
BLK BLACKHAM RESOURCES LTD 0.01 709.62k 179.68 44.07M
KME KIP MCGRATH EDUCATION CENTRE 0.98 12.90k 156.88 44.10M
INF INFINITY LITHIUM CORP LTD 0.07 156.17 14.81M
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD 0.56 86.03k 145.06 225.46M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.58 5.19M 140.39 330.41M
MTO MOTORCYCLE HOLDINGS LTD 2 4.58k 128.95 123.41M
KAI KAIROS MINERALS LTD 0.01 127.47 11.93M
PBH POINTSBET HOLDINGS LTD 3.56 54.27k 126.36 414.25M
VOL VICTORY OFFICES LTD 2.4 20.15k 112.8 98.16M
JRV JERVOIS MINING LTD 0.22 590.48k 107.18 137.95M
UWL UNITI GROUP LTD 1.5 263.99k 103.42 378.77M
TGM THETA GOLD MINES LTD 0.16 100 67.69M