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”.

Since Stockhead began Short & Caught it has used four different metrics and the degree to which they change each fortnight varies significantly.

The most consistently changing metric is the percentage change in short interest. While investors can “go short” for long periods of time, this metric shows investors have recently began to short the stock.

Stockhead has found 23 ASX small caps with short interest percentage change above 200 per cent and more than $100,000 short interest against it.

The newly shorted

While the top three stocks from last fortnight remain – Metro Mining (ASX: MMI), Macmahon Holdings (ASX: MAH) and Arafura Resources (ASX: ARU) – Stockhead noticed several new stocks.

One was Splitit (ASX: SPT). You may remember buy now pay later stock Sezzle (ASX: SZL) which doubled on its first day. In case you’d forgotten, Splitit went up as well, 10 times in 6 weeks.

It’s still more than double its price but fallen over 75 per cent from its peak – from $2 to 48 cents; and it’s an easy target for shorters.

Speaking of easy targets, if you think crypto and blockchain is a bubble that has burst or is about to, this sector would be another one. Crypto and blockchain venture capital firm Fatfish Blockchain (ASX: FFG) is a new target of shorters with nearly $900,000 in short interest – a 963 per cent increase in a month.

Despite lithium and rare earths being hot we noticed Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) and Sheffield Resources (ASX: SFX) as targets as well.

Code Name Price Market Cap Short Interest Short Interest 1M % Change
MMI METRO MINING LTD 0.13 173.11M 363.51k 18175200
MAH MACMAHON HOLDINGS LTD 0.17 355.57M 2.33M 23372
ARU ARAFURA RESOURCES LTD 0.08 88.61M 4.35M 19693
GNX GENEX POWER LTD 0.23 92.42M 187.50k 7400
GLL GALILEE ENERGY LTD 1.13 257.34M 215.14k 6441
LIT LITHIUM AUSTRALIA NL 0.05 27.19M 817.87k 3287
OMN ONEMARKET LTD 0.68 70.67M 520.66k 2984
PWH PWR HOLDINGS LTD 4.3 430.00M 300.27k 2794
TRY TROY RESOURCES LTD 0.12 68.09M 107.45k 2586
SFX SHEFFIELD RESOURCES LTD 0.57 149.80M 884.24k 1775
ALK ALKANE RESOURCES LTD 0.43 217.62M 125.18k 1289
BDA BOD AUSTRALIA LTD 0.55 48.82M 121.55k 1099
FFG FATFISH BLOCKCHAIN LTD 0.01 8.14M 899.31k 963
SPT SPLITIT PAYMENTS LTD 0.49 149.15M 492.11k 731
PAR PARADIGM BIOPHARMACEUTICALS 1.41 271.97M 173.47k 569
GGG GREENLAND MINERALS LTD 0.12 154.83M 1.36M 563
AVJ AVJENNINGS LTD 0.58 235.61M 173.39k 465
EMR EMERALD RESOURCES NL 0.04 121.94M 7.44M 292
ARQ ARQ GROUP LTD 0.61 74.50M 1.13M 257
AC8 AUSCANN GROUP HOLDINGS LTD 0.43 136.33M 359.74k 236
LNU LINIUS TECHNOLOGIES LTD 0.03 37.50M 497.35k 232
IMM IMMUTEP LTD 0.02 85.06M 1.08M 218
DCG DECMIL GROUP LTD 0.87 206.14M 251.44k 217

Raw figures

Yet none of these stocks have anywhere near as high bare short interest figures as these ones. The most shorted stock was Queensland gas explorer Senex Energy (ASX: SXY), which could be affected if a proposed gas reservation policy comes to fruition.

Even as Dacian Gold (ASX: DCN) continues to recover from its plunge back in June, investors are continuing to hold short positions in it – to the tune of $16.65 million.

Myer (ASX: MYR) is also shorted. It has not given any earnings guidance but inevitably investors think its decline will continue. September 12 is its date. However JB Hi-Fi’s (ASX: JBH) strong results yesterday would show it’s not all doom and gloom for retail.

While at Stockhead we exclude large caps from our searches of shorted stocks we noticed JB Hi-Fi has $16.3 million in short interest – not as much as Myer but still significant. But both are nowhere near the most shorted large cap – AMP (ASX: AMP) with $261.9 million.

Code Name Price Market Cap Shrt Int:D-1
CLH COLLECTION HOUSE LTD 1.21 167.83M 10.74M
BWX BWX LTD 2.31 287.02M 15.00M
PDN PALADIN ENERGY LTD 0.14 236.53M 16.02M
DCN DACIAN GOLD LTD 1.18 254.26M 16.65M
EWC ENERGY WORLD CORP LTD 0.08 149.04M 18.41M
GRR GRANGE RESOURCES LTD 0.23 266.19M 26.56M
SEA SUNDANCE ENERGY AUSTRALIA LTD 0.17 116.89M 28.62M
MRM MMA OFFSHORE LTD 0.19 163.03M 28.75M
NCZ NEW CENTURY RESOURCES LTD 0.31 170.98M 30.49M
MLX METALS X LTD 0.19 137.81M 32.72M
LNG LIQUEFIED NATURAL GAS LTD 0.22 129.60M 33.27M
INR IONEER LTD 0.17 250.75M 39.43M
CLQ CLEAN TEQ HOLDINGS LTD 0.38 291.12M 41.91M
AJM ALTURA MINING LTD 0.1 244.17M 45.97M
MAY MELBANA ENERGY LTD 0.01 16.90M 5.23M
SYR SYRAH RESOURCES LTD 0.81 345.17M 55.32M
LVT LIVETILES LTD 0.49 320.42M 6.35M
IPD IMPEDIMED LTD 0.14 71.02M 6.76M
KAR KAROON ENERGY LTD 1.27 327.57M 6.88M
MYR MYER HOLDINGS LTD 0.51 422.96M 62.17M
MLD MACA LTD 0.93 245.23M 7.05M
EMR EMERALD RESOURCES NL 0.04 121.94M 7.44M
SPL STARPHARMA HOLDINGS LTD 1.3 483.24M 7.78M
AMI AURELIA METALS LTD 0.47 416.58M 7.98M
FAR FAR LTD 0.06 383.10M 75.44M
SXY SENEX ENERGY LTD 0.3 436.01M 78.83M
KGN KOGAN.COM LTD 5.07 475.21M 8.45M