6 Dividend Stocks Making Short-Sellers Nervous

Quarterly earnings reports are big movers for many stock prices. When a company fails to meet the market's expectations, its stock will usually drop to discount in the new information. If earnings exceed expectations, a higher stock price will usually be the reward.

With that in mind, we created a screen of stocks that meet the following criteria:

  • Releasing earnings April 25 to April 27
  • Dividend yield between 3%-7%
  • Short covering month over month (bullish signal)

Business section: Investing ideas
We chose to search for short covering because changes in the number of shares shorted over time can give a clue as to whether investors are becoming more or less pessimistic about the name.

In this case, when a stock sees fewer shares shorted over time, it indicates greater optimism from investors.

Do you agree? (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)

1. RPC (NYSE: RES  ) : Provides a range of oilfield services and equipment to the oil and gas companies primarily in the United States. The company has a market cap of $2.0 billion, most recent closing price at $9.09. Dividend yield: 3.43%. Earnings date: April 25. Shares shorted have decreased from 15.90 million to 14.26 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 2.23% of the company's float of 73.44 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 5.94 days.

2. Old Republic International (NYSE: ORI  ) : Engages in insurance underwriting business. The company has a market cap of $2.64 billion, most recent closing price at $10.19. Dividend yield: 6.94%. Earnings date: April 26. Shares shorted have decreased from 11.37 million to 8.67 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.14% of the company's float of 237.28 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 3.54 days.

3. United Bankshares (Nasdaq: UBSI  ) : Provides commercial and retail banking services and products in the United States. The company has a market cap of $1.34 billion, most recent closing price at $26.67. Dividend yield: 4.6%. Earnings date: April 26. Shares shorted have decreased from 7.92 million to 7.21 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.65% of the company's float of 43.06 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 21.15 days.

4. Corporate Office Properties Trust (NYSE: OFC  ) : Engages in the acquisition, development, ownership, management, and leasing of suburban office properties. The company has a market cap of $1.61 billion, most recent closing price at $22.30. Dividend yield: 4.85%. Earnings date: April 26. Shares shorted have decreased from 3.82 million to 2.88 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.33% of the company's float of 70.94 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 3.67 days.

5. Federated Investors (NYSE: FII  ) : Provides its services to individuals, including high-net-worth individuals, banking or thrift institutions, investment companies, pension and profit sharing plans, pooled investment vehicles, charitable organizations, state or municipal government entities, and registered investment advisors. The company has a market cap of $2.12 billion, most recent closing price at $20.47. Dividend yield: 4.65%. Earnings date: April 26. Shares shorted have decreased from 17.13 million to 15.42 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.84% of the company's float of 92.70 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 9.87 days.

6. Validus Holdings: Provides reinsurance and insurance coverage in the property, marine, and specialty lines markets worldwide. The company has a market cap of $3.15 billion, most recent closing price at $30.88. Dividend yield: 3.24%. Earnings date: April 26. Shares shorted have decreased from 1.94 million to 378,870 over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.71% of the company's float of 91.32 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 0.52 days.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the stocks mentioned above. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.


 

Kapitall's Rebecca Lipman does not own any shares of the companies mentioned above. Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Federated Investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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