Since everyone loves a winner, it's reasonable to assume that everyone hates a loser -- everyone but short sellers, at least. These contrarian investors, aiming to turn their pessimism into potential profits, bet that hot stocks are primed to fall.

This week we'll look at companies on the Nasdaq Exchange with the largest percentage of shares sold short compared to their float. Combining that with the collective intelligence of Motley Fool CAPS, we'll see which of these companies that Fools believe have the power to make short work of short sellers.

Company

Shares Short
Feb. 13

Shares Short
Jan. 30

%
Change

%
Float

CAPS Rating
(5 stars max.)

Amedisys

14.5

13.8

5.59%

54.2%

**

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (NASDAQ:GMCR)

10.0

9.3

7.35%

50.9%

**

CompuCredit (NASDAQ:CCRT)

7.6

8.3

(9.19%)

50.7%

**

Fuel Systems Solutions (NASDAQ:FSYS)

5.8

5.7

1.51%

46.9%

**

Allegiant Travel (NASDAQ:ALGT)

6.2

5.7

8.91%

45.0%

*

GTX

6.2

5.9

3.83%

44.9%

**

Source Interlink

11.2

11.2

0.12%

43.8%

**

Blue Nile (NASDAQ:NILE)

5.7

5.4

5.54%

40.7%

**

Synaptics

13.2

12.1

9.18%

40.6%

****

AeroVironment (NASDAQ:AVAV)

5.6

5.6

1.52%

40.5%

***

Sources: wsj.com. Share counts in millions. NM = not meaningful.

Of course, this isn't a list of stocks to buy -- or short! These stocks could have serious problems that warranted their short interest, but they might also be stricken by short-term troubles. Only Foolish due diligence will tell you for certain; our 125,000-strong CAPS community offers just such a good place to start.

The short list
I'm sure the overcaffeinated minions who flock to Starbucks (NASDAQ:SBUX) on a daily basis would say that I've consumed too many cups of 7-11 brew on the midnight tour, but I just don't like Starbucks' coffee. I especially don't want to pay $4 for a single cup. But now that Dunkin' Donuts and McDonald's (NYSE:MCD) siphon off greater numbers of people with coffee that's every bit as good (I'd say better) and cheaper to boot, Starbucks is throwing its grounds at the wall to see what sticks. It's now preparing an offering of "Happy Meals" for regular Joes. Clearly, the company realizes at last that there are limits to what people will pay in a recession.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters has to be a little worried when even the icon of overpriced gourmet coffee is willing to go downmarket. In a bit of printers-and-ink business modeling, Green Mountain sells, almost at cost, its top-shelf Keurig coffee brewers and then rapaciously charges consumers for its patented K-cup portion packets. Even though Green Mountain more than doubled its sales of coffee machines in the last quarter, premium-priced coffee can only withstand the effects of a recession for so long.

Just as consumers might want to consider their printers as disposable when they run out of ink -- why pay $35 for a pair of new ink cartridges when you can get a whole new printer replete with ink for about $40? -- brewing up Maxwell House in their Mr. Coffee machines for just pennies a cup is going to seem a whole lot more sensible than purchasing pricey K-cup packets.

CAPS member CharlieBombay has a tough time reconciling a Steinbeck-like image of where he thinks America is headed with the hoity-toity use of gourmet coffee makers. Perhaps a canteen over an open flame would be better. CharlieBombay writes:

As we speak, Obama is outlining the plan to save the housing market. I'm just shorting stuff that is overbought. This looks good. Against resistance. Way overbought. Grapes of Wrath and High-end coffee dispensers just don't go hand-in-hand.

Don't sell yourself short
It pays to start your own research on these stocks on Motley Fool CAPS. Read a company's financial reports, scrutinize key data and charts, and examine the comments your fellow investors have made -- all from a stock's CAPS page. Then share your views with the CAPS community: Squeeze 'em till it hurts, or short 'em till the sun don't shine? May the best argument prevail!

Starbucks is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Blue Nile and AeroVironment are Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendations. Starbucks and CompuCredit are Motley Fool Stock Advisor picks. The Fool owns shares of Starbucks. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey has no financial position in any of the stocks mentioned in this article. You can see his holdings. There's no shortcut around The Motley Fool's disclosure policy.