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The following is a list of companies with significant short interest, with short floats higher than 15%. All of these companies have seen inventories grow faster than revenues during the most recent quarter, an accounting trend that deserves closer attention.

When a company's inventories are rising at a faster rate than its sales, it may indicate that the company is having trouble selling its merchandise. In extreme cases, the company might have to mark down the value of its inventory.

But there are often good explanations for a deviation between inventory and sales growth. Companies can decide to increase inventories because they are growing more confident about the economy and seeing demand growth. In other examples, companies might make changes to the way they report inventory positions, or a change in the company's structure might skew the data.

The bottom line: Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis. Check out the 10-Q and read management discussions to see if there's a good explanation for this trend.

Accounting data sourced from Google Finance, short float and performance data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.

The list has been sorted by the difference between revenue and inventory growth rates.

1. Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ:CLNE): Gas Utilities Industry. Market cap of $842.92M. MRQ revenue grew by 46.41% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 369.79%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 2.97% to 16.8% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 18.24%, which implies a short ratio of 7.53 days. The stock has lost -25.53% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Signed an agreement to acquire Northstar Incorporated for about $11M (Dec 2010). Announced follow on public offering of three million shares of common stock (Nov 2010).

2. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUXL): Drug Related Products Industry. Market cap of $1.06B. MRQ revenue grew by 27.27% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 255.69%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 5.04% to 19.07% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 21.37%, which implies a short ratio of 12.54 days. The stock has lost -21.92% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Announced issuance of patent for Clostridial Collagenase (Oct 2010). Announced initiation of XIAFLEX phase III studies for Peyronie's disease (Oct 2010).

3. Clearwire Corporation (CLWR): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $5.44B. MRQ revenue grew by 113.57% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 244.28%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from .31% to 1.4% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 17.87%, which implies a short ratio of 7.43 days. The stock has lost -18.61% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Announced election of John W. Stanton as Chairman of company Board Of Directors (Jan 2011). Plans to raise over $1.1 billion through the offering of debt securities in private placement transactions (Dec 2010).

4. Quidel Corp. (NASDAQ:QDEL): Diagnostic Substances Industry. Market cap of $422.63M. MRQ revenue grew by -49.72% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 49.53%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 11.64% to 34.63% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 16.85%, which implies a short ratio of 22.67 days. The stock has lost -8.64% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Announced a proposed underwritten public offering of 4,000,000 common shares (Jan 2011). Announced FDA clearance of its QuickVue RSV 10 immunoassay diagnostic test (Sep 2010). Quidel Corp. announced FDA clearance of RapidVue hCG pregnancy lateral Flow diagnostic test (Aug 2010).

5. STR Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:STRI): Specialty Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $758.73M. MRQ revenue grew by 45.25% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 136.73%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 10.26% to 13.21% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 24.05%, which implies a short ratio of 12.79 days. The stock has gained 20.26% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Issued Q4 2010 guidance above analysts' estimates and also raised FY 2010 guidance (Nov 2010).

6. CIENA Corp. (NYSE:CIEN): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $2.22B. MRQ revenue grew by 136.91% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 196.99%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 6.75% to 18.15% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-10-31 vs. 3 months ending 2009-10-31). Short float at 30.31%, which implies a short ratio of 4.97 days. The stock has gained 92.81% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Issued Q1 2011 revenue guidance in line with analysts' estimates (Dec 2010)

7. Trex Co. Inc. (NYSE:TREX): Lumber, Wood Production Industry. Market cap of $367.95M. MRQ revenue grew by -2.21% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 51.88%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 38.73% to 49.63% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 17.35%, which implies a short ratio of 13.96 days. The stock has gained 41.67% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Issued Q4 2010 revenue guidance above analysts' estimates (Nov 2010).

8. Lumber Liquidators Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:LL): Home Improvement Stores Industry. Market cap of $715.94M. MRQ revenue grew by 4.75% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 50.84%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 61.58% to 80.13% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 21.02%, which implies a short ratio of 12.71 days. The stock has gained 12.06% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Named Robert M. Lynch President and Chief Operating Officer (Dec 2010). Issued Q4 2010 guidance below analysts' estimates (Nov 2010).

9. Acorda Therapeutics, Inc. (NASDAQ:ACOR): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $936.75M. MRQ revenue grew by 318.28% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 352.94%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 1.86% to 8.74% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 17.34%, which implies a short ratio of 7.74 days. The stock has lost -14.76% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Announced initiation of Phase 1 GGF2 clinical trial in patients with heart failure (Dec 2010). Announced additional Phase 3 clinical trial showing dalfampridine extended release tablets improved walking ability in people with multiple sclerosis (Nov 2010).

10. ADTRAN Inc. (NASDAQ:ADTN): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $2.61B. MRQ revenue grew by 33.08% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 62.62%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 14.02% to 20.93% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-12-31 vs. 3 months ending 2009-12-31). Short float at 16.22%, which implies a short ratio of 8.43 days. The stock has gained 81.23% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Issued Q1 2011 revenue guidance in line with analysts' estimates (Jan 2011)

11. Overstock.com Inc. (NASDAQ:OSTK): Catalog & Mail Order Houses Industry. Market cap of $366.91M. MRQ revenue grew by 26.65% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 56.03%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 17.87% to 24.98% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 15.6%, which implies a short ratio of 17.5 days. The stock has gained 30.3% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: None

12. Black Hills Corporation (NYSE:BKH): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $1.19B. MRQ revenue grew by 17.08% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 45.32%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 17.83% to 22.53% (comparing 3 months ending 2010-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2009-09-30). Short float at 15.71%, which implies a short ratio of 13.74 days. The stock has gained 22.1% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Lowered top end of prior FY 2010 EPS outlook (Oct 2010)

13. Cree Inc. (NASDAQ:CREE): Semiconductor Equipment & Materials Industry. Market cap of $5.61B. MRQ revenue grew by 28.83% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 55.94%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 7.91% to 10.01% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2010-12-26 vs. 13 weeks ending 2009-12-27). Short float at 19.44%, which implies a short ratio of 5.57 days. The stock has lost -14.77% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Issued Q3 2011 guidance below analysts' estimates (Jan 2011).

14. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR): Processed & Packaged Goods Industry. Market cap of $4.58B. MRQ revenue grew by 72.75% on a y/y basis, much slower than inventory growth at 98.58%. Inventory, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 24.6% to 53.0% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2010-09-25 vs. 13 weeks ending 2009-09-26). Short float at 27.09%, which implies a short ratio of 7.58 days. The stock has gained 29.39% over the last year.

- Recent Developments: Acquired Van Houtte for an aggregate cash purchase price of CAD915 million (Dec 2010).

Source: Short Ideas: 14 Highly Shorted Stocks With Rising Inventories