Frontier Communications remained the most shorted stock traded on the Nasdaq between the September 30 and October 14 settlement dates. Overall, moves among the top few on the list were mixed but mild earlier this month. Intel saw virtually no change in the number of its shares short, while short sellers shied away from Sirius XM and Novavax somewhat.
Note that still only two Nasdaq stocks had more than 100 million shares short by the end of the most recent period. In fact, those top two remain very far ahead of the pack.
The number of shares short in Frontier Communications Corp. (NASDAQ: FTR) has increased in nine of the past 10 periods. It rose most recently by more than 3% to more than 235.62 million. That was 20.3% of the telecom’s float, as well as the highest short interest in at least a year. The days to cover inched up to more than nine as the average daily volume slipped.
Frontier is a Merrill Lynch top pick for its big upside potential. Short sellers watched the shares retreat more than 5% in the short interest period, while the Nasdaq was down almost 2%. The stock has recovered that loss since then and closed most recently at $4.11. Shares have changed hands between $3.81 and $5.85 in the past year.
The more than 207.20 million Sirius XM Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: SIRI) shares short by the middle of October was more than 6% lower than on the previous settlement date. That was still the seventh period in a row of short interest above 200 million shares. Some 12.1% of the company’s float was sold short most recently. At the current average daily volume, it would take more than five days to cover all short positions.
There has been some speculation that weak car sales could be a headwind for Sirius XM. Sirius shares ended the two-week period less than 2% lower, largely rising and falling along with the Nasdaq in that time. The stock has retreated somewhat since and is currently trading almost 5% higher than at the beginning of the year. It closed Tuesday at $4.19, in a 52-week trading range of $3.29 to $4.44.
MannKind Corp.’s (NASDAQ: MNKD) short interest, at more than 97.75 million shares most recently, was about 2% lower than on the prior settlement date. That ended four consecutive periods of a rising number of shares short and was 30.4% of the total float. The daily average volume decreased nearly in half during the period, and the days to cover to surged from near 24 to more than 40.
MannKind is one of the companies looking to develop an alternative to the EpiPen. Shares ended the two weeks nearly 19% lower, though they were up almost 3% at one point. The stock is now more than 63% lower year to date to $0.53. The recent 52-week low is $0.44, and the 52-week high of $3.79 was seen nearly a year ago.