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.


Most shorted

Four stocks have more than $65 million in short interest accrued and these are all resources stocks.

Heading the list is lithium miner Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY). Galaxy is followed by graphite miner Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) as well as petroleum plays Far (ASX:FAR) and Senex Energy (ASX:SXY).

Galaxy and Syrah have been affected by the lull in the lithium and graphite markets for several months.

In recent days, Far and Senex have seen oil prices briefly spiking due to US-Iran tensions, but they are still 14 per cent lower than a month ago.

Companies lower on the list of most shorted stocks have made sharp climbs too. Emerald Resources (ASX:EMR) has 8.2 million shorted shares, up 92 per cent in the last month. The Cambodian focused gold explorer spent most of January undertaking a $75 million capital raise.

Also making climbs are drilling rig provider Mitchell Services (ASX:MSV) and home building robot maker FBR (ASX:FBR).

Code Name Price (I) Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month % Change Market Cap
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 1.07 75.43M 11.96 456.57M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.56 69.76M -1.25 246.13M
FAR FAR LTD 0.04 65.58M 12.21 418.68M
SXY SENEX ENERGY LTD 0.32 65.36M -4.81 495.06M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.44 59.23M 1.64 377.79M
INR IONEER LTD 0.17 52.92M 2.45 302.38M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.25 48.53M -0.98 169.03M
SWM SEVEN WEST MEDIA LTD 0.28 39.82M 6.1 453.72M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.28 39.82M -0.89 209.01M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.08 30.23M -0.44 78.02M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.17 28.28M 0.05 162.00M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 24.58M -10.27 153.64M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.44 21.00M -9.35 374.31M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.52 18.62M 0.91 293.51M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.07 18.35M 0 125.69M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.23 18.16M -19.46 283.55M
BUD BUDDY TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.03 17.06M 18.21 73.79M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.08 16.93M 49.7 178.45M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.19 16.27M -1.12 106.67M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.17 14.15M 2.52 443.33M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.71 13.22M -0.04 484.80M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 0.9 12.81M -1.22 340.26M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.45 9.99M -21.93 319.80M
MSV MITCHELL SERVICES LTD 0.06 8.95M 33.56 118.55M
EMR EMERALD RESOURCES NL 0.05 8.16M 92.12 131.08M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.05 7.99M 0.24 151.17M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.25 7.93M 3.76 228.01M
OEL OTTO ENERGY LTD 0.03 7.82M -1.55 78.73M
FBR FBR LTD 0.05 7.24M 16.39 93.21M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.13 7.19M -0.06 61.33M
CGB CANN GLOBAL LTD 0.02 5.30M -10.7 54.83M
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Newly shorted

Another infrastructure play Decmil Group (ASX:DCG) has also become a new target of shorters – to the tune of 800,000 shares.

It has not recovered since a pre-Christmas market update sent it crashing 33 per cent in a day.

Also on the list are a number of China focused stocks including infant formula plays Clover Corp (ASX:CLV), HRL Holdings (ASX:HRL) and cattle exporter Wellard (ASX:WLD).

While markets welcomed the Phase I trade deal between America and China, these stocks may be hurt if China lives up to its promise to buy more goods from the US.

Many China-focused stocks suffered a further blow this morning as investors feared the Wuhan Coronavirus could hurt tourism and food exports.

Also shorted was Sezzle (ASX:SZL) after a hiccup in getting a lending license in California which it eventually overcame.

Code Name Price (I) Short Interest (Shares) Short Interest 1 Month % Change Market Cap
DCG DECMIL GROUP LTD 0.44 799.20k 65,247.1 106.47M
CLV CLOVER CORP LTD 2.69 300.00k 7,949.37 450.70M
MMJ MMJ GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.14 25.74k 3,387.4 31.42M
WEC WHITE ENERGY CO LTD 0.08 500.00k 2,400.88 41.31M
TPW TEMPLE & WEBSTER GROUP LTD 3.08 15.74k 2,180.43 352.75M
MVF MONASH IVF GROUP LTD 1.01 114.34k 1,958.27 238.14M
CCV CASH CONVERTERS INTL LTD 0.24 15.32k 1,694.38 144.86M
BLK BLACKHAM RESOURCES LTD 0.01 389.91k 908.29 51.88M
WLD WELLARD LTD 0.06 59.54k 876.74 30.81M
ADT ADRIATIC METALS PLC-CDI 1.75 5.86k 587.1 329.85M
NZC NZURI COPPER LTD 0.36 5.33k 517.96 106.53M
EGH EUREKA GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.39 4.44k 463.45 89.71M
BET BETMAKERS TECHNOLOGY GROUP L 0.19 790.69k 413.93 87.60M
CHN CHALICE GOLD MINES LTD 0.28 64.93k 371.87 76.74M
HRL HRL HOLDINGS LTD 0.12 40.00k 369.04 59.21M
TRS REJECT SHOP LTD/THE 4.18 26.05k 322.13 125.46M
TRY TROY RESOURCES LTD 0.1 310.79k 292.14 61.94M
FCT FIRSTWAVE CLOUD TECHNOLOGY L 0.16 29.45k 255.11 48.99M
SVL SILVER MINES LTD 0.11 862.31k 249.47 91.09M
BID BIDENERGY LTD 1.02 492.27k 237.15 138.91M
AVZ AVZ MINERALS LTD 0.06 4.81M 233.91 159.09M
PFP PROPEL FUNERAL PARTNERS LTD 3.52 4.21k 229.4 353.47M
SZL SEZZLE INC-CDI 1.98 125.66k 227.12 390.85M
OCC ORTHOCELL LTD 0.46 576.74k 204.41 87.57M
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