Welcome to this week’s installment of “The Short Interest Report” – The Fly’s weekly recap of short interest trends among some of the most widely followed high-short-float stocks. Using the data from our partner Ortex.com, which utilizes the latest information from stock lenders to estimate short interest changes for thousands of publicly traded companies, this report will screen for some of biggest changes in short interest as a percentage of free float and days-to-cover ratios while also considering the short interest data on some of the more volatile and heavier-traded names of the week. Based on the availability of data from Ortex, the report tracks the trading period that covers prior Friday through Thursday of this week, excluding holidays. As a basis of comparison for stocks discussed below, the S&P 500 index was up 1.0%, the Nasdaq Composite was up 2.4%, the Russell 2000 index was down 0.5%, the Russell 2000 Growth ETF (IWO) was down 0.4%, and the Russell 2000 Value ETF (IWN) was down 1.0% in the five-day trading session range through April 11.

SHORT INTEREST GAINERS

  • Ortex-reported short interest in Westrock Coffee (WEST) is percolating again, jumping from 49.4% to an all-time high of 68.2% with no discernible impact on the news front. Westrock has a similar sharp step-up in bearish positioning back in late January, when shorts as a percentage of free float spiked from about 17% to 49%. Shares of Westrock were down less than 1% in the five-day period covered through Thursday.
  • Estimated short interest in Janux Therapeutics (JANX) tracked within a narrow 16%-17% range for about a month, though with the stock spiking on chatter of acquisition interest from larger pharmaceutical companies, shorts are also lining to fade the rally. Bearish positioning as a percentage of free float rose from 16.1% to 20.0% – the highest level since mid-February. The stock, meanwhile, ended the week up 41% by Thursday-close, coming up within an earshot of its late February high.
  • Ortex-reported short interest in NetStreit (NTST) troughed at a two-month in the first week of April at 18.5%, though with the stock unable to build on a breach of this year’s high, the bears are now looking for more retrenchment. Shorts as a percentage of free float were up from 19.0% to 23.6%, while the stock was down by nearly 3%. The company is set to report its Q1 earnings on April 29th, as the aftermath of its prior reporting period in mid-February coincided with its area of support for the year.
  • Estimated short interest on Groupon (GRPN) had settled in the 15%-16% range for much of March even though its Q1 results and guidance reported mid-month were disastrous, driving a 30% selloff in the stock in the wake of the report as the management guided a decline in revenue for the first half of the year. The selling momentum has resurfaced this week with shares slipping below the mid-December lows, and bears are awaking from slumber, with shorts as a percentage of free float rising from 16.1% to 19.8% – a two-month high – this week. Shares of Groupon were down 5% in the five-day period covered, and have now lost 45% of their value from last month’s 2024 highs.

SHORT INTEREST DECLINERS

  • Estimated short interest on Kohl’s (KSS) had reached its multi-year apex just above 31% in the final week of March just as the stock was aiming to breach its December highs above $29. Shares have since pulled back from those highs, with Friday’s 4% decline accentuating the 23% overall 9-day retreat, while bearish positioning has also been dialed down. In the five-day period through Thursday, shorts as a percentage of free float in Kohl’s slipped from 30.5% to 26.4% – within a decimal of a three-month low, with the stock registering a 8% drop in that timespan.
  • Ortex-reported short interest in Enliven Therapeutics (ELVN) had peaked above 50% back in January and has been on a gradual down-slope through the first week of April, though this week marked a more pronounced capitulation from 34.9% all the way down to a one-year low of 19.6%. The stock received a major boost on March 19th with a pipeline update on its ELVN-001 and ELVN-002 drugs, sparking a 39% single-day-rally. This week’s announcement of positive proof of concept data in ELVN-01 phase 1 trial in Chronic Myeloid Leukemia ignited another burst, helping shares gain 28% in the five-day period covered through Thursday prior to Friday’s 11% profit-taking.

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