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

These top companies on the Nasdaq exchange had the largest percentage increase in shares sold short. Combining that with the collective intelligence of Motley Fool CAPS, we'll see which of these companies Fools believe have the power to make short work of short-sellers.


Shares Short

Nov. 30

Shares Short

Nov. 15


% Float

CAPS Rating
(out of 5)

Amarin (Nasdaq: AMRN) 2.0 1.2 65.4% NM **
ZAGG (Nasdaq: ZAGG) 3.5 2.3 51.1% 21.8% *
Uranium Resources (Nasdaq: URRE) 1.1 0.7 50.4% 1.2% **

Sources: 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 warrant their short interest, but they might also be stricken by short-term troubles. Only Foolish due diligence will tell you for certain; our 170,000-strong CAPS community offers just such a good place to start.

The short list
New study results for Amarin's medicinal-grade fish-oil drug, AMR101, showed it significantly lowered triglyceride levels without raising "bad" LDL cholesterol, while meeting all of its endpoints for safety, possibly making it superior to even GlaxoSmithKline's (NYSE: GSK) Lovaza, currently the only approved omega3 treatment for high triglycerides.

The news sent Amarin's shares soaring, no doubt giving short-sellers hope the euphoria will be short-lived. Yet with Teva Pharmaceutical (Nasdaq: TEVA) planning on coming to market with a generic version of Lovaza, it raises the possibility that Amarin will become a takeover target to plug some pipeline holes.

The Fool's biotech guru, TMFBiologyFool (Brian Orelli), says even if additional trials fail, Amarin's stock is still a good value. Let us know on the Amarin CAPS page whether you think Amarin is a slick stock pick.

Squeezed to death
With analysts expecting Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) to sell as many as 60 million iPhones next year, investors no doubt expect ZAGG to sell a heckuva lot more of their protective covers. The introduction of the iPhone 4 and HTC's Evo 4G phone for Sprint (NYSE: S) helped the gadget maker post sales 138% higher than a year ago, sending ZAGG's stock to record highs.

Selling against ZAGG hasn't proven to be a winning bet yet. It recently introduced its ZAGGmate keyboard/case combination and if sales of that device are any indication, the shorts will likely come out on the wrong end of the stick again. CAPS member iversonj88 says product innovations like that will serve ZAGG well:

Zagg has a couple of potential home run hitters in the rotation now to accompany the invisible shield, like the ZAGGmate which is actually a good accessory and should be more successful than their other attempts in the past. High holiday volume for Apple means high holiday volume for Zagg. Happy I'm holding!

Despite its one-star rating, 66% of the CAPS members rating ZAGG think it will be able to post market-beating results. You can keep track of the gadget maker's fate by adding the stock to your watchlist and having all the Foolish news and analysis aggregated for you in one place.

I'll drink to that!
Uranium stocks have been mounting a strong rally over the past month, with the CAPS uranium sector jumping more than 13%, compared to a 1% rise in the S&P 500. Uranium Resources has done even better, rising almost 60%, and turning in one of the best performances of any of its peers.

What goes up must come down, shorts say, and that kind of big run-up in a short time no doubt leaves them emboldened that demand for uranium won't be able to sustain the lofty price level. CAPS member dortchee adds a couple of thoughts: "Uranium is a solid play for the foreseeable future. Only question will be the management of the company and how they operate."

If the uranium miner's price is too hot for you right now, add it to the Fool's free portfolio tracker and keep an eye on all the Foolish news and analysis.

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!

Apple is a Motley Fool Stock Advisor pick. GlaxoSmithKline is a Motley Fool Global Gains selection. The Fool owns shares of and has written covered calls on GlaxoSmithKline. The Fool owns shares of Apple and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors.

Fool contributor Rich Duprey does not have a financial position in any of the stocks mention in this article. You can see his holdings here. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.