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

Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) and Galaxy Resources (ASX:GXY) are still the two most shorted small caps with $140 million in short interest between them.

Both have been substantially hit by low and stagnant prices in their respective commodities — lithium and graphite. Syrah has lost two thirds of its value since May and last week it announced it would reduce production for some months until the market rebalances.

Read More: The graphite party looks to be over (for now) — here’s what analysts prefer instead

One stock shorters have been right about is satellite company Speedcast (ASX:SDA) which has continued to fall. It now has $25 million in short interest against it — nearly 25 per cent higher than a month ago. From a high of $6.69 in August last year it is now below a dollar after multiple profit downgrades.

But stocks don’t have to be down to be targeted by shorters. One of the newly shorted stocks is West African Resources (ASX:WAF). While it has gained 60 per cent in four months, shorters have $11 million short interest against it.

This company is constructing a gold mine in Burkina Faso and it is aiming to produce 300,000 ounces of gold in the first 12 months of production. With record gold prices, this sounds like a money maker; but Burkina Faso is far from the safest jurisdiction to build a gold mine.

Code Name Price Short Interest 1 month % Change Market Cap
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.41 71.41M 7.63 181.88M
GXY GALAXY RESOURCES LTD 0.92 69.38M 6.81 372.63M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.58 57.31M -4.17 468.13M
INR IONEER LTD 0.17 44.86M 14.43 251.17M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.25 43.51M -0.05 201.54M
FAR FAR LTD 0.05 43.13M 16.42 345.42M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.3 40.00M 4.63 194.37M
ANL AMANI GOLD LTD 0.003 33.33M 0 15.64M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.06 30.45M -2.72 134.88M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.22 30.01M 13.92 129.60M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.19 28.57M -10.56 167.84M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.19 28.25M -0.02 167.33M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.22 27.16M -4.42 254.61M
SDA SPEEDCAST INTERNATIONAL LTD 1 25.00M 24.64 240.94M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.51 18.59M 0.91 342.80M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.09 18.42M -3.91 154.42M
ALG ARDENT LEISURE GROUP LTD 1.01 17.91M -32.02 491.70M
BOT BOTANIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 0.25 16.00M 6.3 226.66M
HT1 HT&E LTD 1.63 12.96M -1.34 471.47M
SEA SUNDANCE ENERGY AUSTRALIA LT 0.14 11.61M -37.56 96.26M
SLC SUPERLOOP LTD 1.13 11.29M 3.31 345.07M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.44 10.95M 9110.48 369.95M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.02 10.83M 256.01 75.91M
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.21 10.74M 0 170.10M
BWX BWX LTD 3.91 10.15M -20.24 494.51M
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD 0.42 9.97M -16.76 366.84M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.12 9.61M 15.38 418.49M
ADH ADAIRS LTD 1.86 9.50M 25.73 300.23M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.52 9.25M 287.21 299.21M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.09 7.82M -62.5 180.48M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.15 6.86M 4.46 81.16M
NVA NOVA MINERALS LTD 0.04 6.71M 43.25 38.21M
STX STRIKE ENERGY LTD 0.25 6.25M -7.86 417.07M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.29 5.48M -50.67 245.34M
FBR FBR LTD 0.06 5.47M 28.31 88.43M
JHC JAPARA HEALTHCARE LTD 1.16 5.00M 4.57 310.01M

Newly shorted

The stock with the highest percentage increase in short interest is tech stock CSG (ASX:CSV). This is despite it being one of the few tech stocks that is profitable.

Two of 2019’s most successful IPOs were likewise shorted despite success; Uniti Group (ASX:UWL) and Sezzle (ASX:SZL).

Also shorted was water treatment stock De.Mem (ASX:DEM) and earbud maker Nuheara (ASX:NUH).

Code Name Price (I) Short Interest 1 Month % Change Market Cap
CSV CSG LTD 0.23 7.22k 722,200 105.58M
3PL 3P LEARNING LTD 0.93 260.00k 139,684.95 127.58M
SZL SEZZLE INC-CDI 2.4 77.64k 12,012.32 470.96M
WAF WEST AFRICAN RESOURCES LTD 0.44 10.95M 9,110.48 369.95M
AD8 AUDINATE GROUP LTD 7.21 288.17k 6,358.2 492.70M
MVP MEDICAL DEVELOPMENTS INTERNATIONAL 5.14 7.82k 2,179.3 326.72M
SVL SILVER MINES LTD 0.09 1.89M 2,117.15 82.41M
ANO ADVANCE NANOTEK LTD 6.14 19.53k 2,087.01 362.36M
AMG AUSMEX MINING GROUP LTD 0.1 171.98k 1,547.02 50.48M
MOD MOD RESOURCES LTD 0.44 1.91M 1,465.84 161.02M
SO4 SALT LAKE POTASH LTD 0.83 380.00k 1,192.74 212.47M
VHT VOLPARA HEALTH TECHNOLOGIES 1.63 346.81k 923.23 355.44M
UWL UNITI GROUP LTD 1.49 448.95k 846.16 387.61M
ATU ATRUM COAL LTD 0.34 77.79k 528.83 164.17M
EAR ECHO RESOURCES LTD 0.33 219.49k 419.02 241.10M
DEM DE.MEM LTD 0.34 162.31k 358.22 51.07M
OPC OPTICOMM LTD 3.8 36.07k 349.86 405.89M
BGL BELLEVUE GOLD LTD 0.52 9.25M 287.21 299.21M
BTH BIGTINCAN HOLDINGS LTD 0.56 159.13k 274.15 175.90M
NUH NUHEARA LTD 0.05 350.00k 259.09 48.86M
IMU IMUGENE LTD 0.02 10.83M 256.01 75.91M
KME KIP MCGRATH EDUCATION CENTRE 1 45.39k 251.95 45.23M
DNK DANAKALI LTD 0.64 56.65k 243.24 169.98M
TLX TELIX PHARMACEUTICALS LTD 1.58 8.53k 238.65 401.45M
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD 0.56 86.03k 206.91 227.49M
MEB MEDIBIO LTD 0.01 942.36k 205.13 10.95M
RUL RPMGLOBAL HOLDINGS LTD 0.78 92.75k 203.36 171.10M