S&P 1500's Most Heavily Shorted Stocks

by: Bespoke Investment Group

Short interest figures for the end of April were released late last week, and below we provide a table of the stocks in the S&P 1500 with the highest short interest as a percentage of float. Topping this month's list are shares of Blyth (NYSE:BTH), which has more than two-thirds of its free-floating shares sold short. While BTH may not be a household name, there are plenty of more recognizable names on the list, including Coinstar (NASDAQ:CSTR), J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), GameStop (NYSE:GME), SUPERVALU (NYSE:SVU), 3D Systems (NYSE:DDD), and United States Steel (NYSE:X).

For the 25 names listed below, we have also calculated their performance since April 30. To bring home the point about how hard it has been to be short the market in recent weeks, only three of the stocks (BTH, CRR, and COCO) are down so far in May. Overall, the average performance of the stocks on the list is a gain of 6.75%, which is nearly three times the gain of the overall S&P 1500 (2.33%). This doesn't even include shares of Tesla (NASDAQ:TSLA), which is up 57% so far in May. While the stock has more than 40% of its float sold short, it is not currently a member of the S&P 1500. Needless to say, unless the market changes course in the coming weeks, a lot of bearish portfolio managers may find themselves with dwindling assets under management or completely out of a job come summer.