Short & Caught: The ASX stocks investors are shorting right now
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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 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).
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.