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Shorting a share involves borrowing the share and immediately selling it with the agreement to buy it back and return it in the future. This is profitable only if the share price drops. In which case, the short-seller gets to keep the difference in value (minus a borrowing fee).
Thus heavy short-selling indicates a bearish view on the stock's prospects. And a pullback on shorted shares means these traders are becoming more optimistic about the stock's near-term values.
Below we list names that have seen a significant decrease in shares shorted month over month, a sign these sellers think there is more upside potential than not.
We then screened our list for stocks Barclays, a major global financial services provider, is feeling very bullish about ("overweight" ratings).
Big financial firms, although certainly not always correct, put a lot of analysis into their ratings. So we can assume they have good reason for rating a company overweight, the highest bull rating available (versus equal weight or underweight).
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Do you think Barclays and short-sellers are correct to feel optimistic about these names? Do you think the market is undervaluing these names? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis. (Click here to access free, interactive tools to analyze these ideas.)
1. Buffalo Wild Wings
4. Tesla Motors
5. Tesoro: Engages in refining and marketing petroleum products in the United States. The company has a market cap of $3.23 billion, most recent closing price at $22.64. On July 6, 2011, Barclays Capital had an overweight rating on the stock. Shares shorted have decreased from 10.83 million to 9.32 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.09% of the company's float of 138.43 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 2.56 days.
6. Valero Energy
7. Weight Watchers International: Provides weight management services worldwide. The company has a market cap of $5.39 billion, most recent closing price at $71.75. On March 9, 2012, Barclays Capital had an overweight rating on the stock. Shares shorted have decreased from 6.49 million to 6.02 million over the last month, a decrease which represents about 1.33% of the company's float of 35.28 million shares. Days-to-cover ratio stands at 4.86 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 of the shares mentioned above. Data sourced from Google Finance and Yahoo! Finance. The Motley Fool owns shares of Buffalo Wild Wings, OpenTable, and Power-One. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Tesla Motors, OpenTable, and Buffalo Wild Wings, as well as writing covered calls on Buffalo Wild Wings. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.
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