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If you're looking at shorting a few retail names, the list below might offer an interesting starting point. All of these retailers have seen accounts receivable grow faster than revenues during the most recent quarter--an accounting trend that might signal serious problems.

Sometimes, problems with accounts receivable simply indicate a change in the business (like an acquisition), or a lazy collections department. However, extreme differences between accounts receivable and revenue can also suggest a desperate company that's trying to boost sales by giving its customers overly generous payment terms.

Does this mean the customers of the retailers mentioned below cannot pay their bills? Or are they withholding payments? Given these fundamental trends, do these companies present an opportunity for short sellers?

Of course, there may be several explanations for these accounting trends. Please use this list as a starting point for your own analysis - check out the 10-Q and related management discussions to find out more.

Financial 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 accounts receivables growth. All comparisons are for the most recent quarter, compared to last year's comparable quarter.

1. PriceSmart Inc. (NASDAQ:PSMT): Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.15B. MRQ Revenue grew by 22.40% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 52.92%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 1.14% to 1.45% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-11-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-11-30). Short float at 2.5%, which implies a short ratio of 3.67 days. The stock has gained 93.6% over the last year.

2. Stein Mart Inc. (NASDAQ:SMRT): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $351.67M. MRQ Revenue declined by -0.86% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 27.90%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 2.97% to 3.30% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-31 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30). Short float at 2.76%, which implies a short ratio of 3.63 days. The stock has lost -6.47% over the last year.

3. The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (NASDAQ:PLCE): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.15B. MRQ Revenue declined by -2.11% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 25.15%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 3.64% to 4.21% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-31 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30). Short float at 20.12%, which implies a short ratio of 5.61 days. The stock has gained 36.24% over the last year.

4. Carter's, Inc. (NYSE:CRI): Apparel Clothing Industry. Market cap of $1.61B. MRQ Revenue grew by 7.56% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 34.11%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 20.98% to 26.16% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-03 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-02). Short float at 5.86%, which implies a short ratio of 3.44 days. The stock has gained 7.83% over the last year.

5. Libbey Inc. (NYSEMKT:LBY): Housewares & Accessories Industry. Market cap of $420.54M. MRQ Revenue grew by 7.03% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 21.48%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 31.48% to 34.82% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 2.56%, which implies a short ratio of 6.45 days. The stock has gained 65.39% over the last year.

6. Sally Beauty Holdings Inc. (NYSE:SBH): Specialty Retail Industry. Market cap of $2.38B. MRQ Revenue grew by 10.59% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 24.74%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 9.46% to 10.63% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 5.3%, which implies a short ratio of 12.54 days. The stock has gained 55.62% over the last year.

7. Urban Outfitters Inc. (NASDAQ:URBN): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $5.6B. MRQ Revenue grew by 13.38% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 26.76%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 5.10% to 5.30% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-10-31 vs. 3 months ending 2010-10-31). Short float at 12.64%, which implies a short ratio of 4.44 days. The stock has gained 9.7% over the last year.

8. Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE:WMT): Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $203.96B. MRQ Revenue grew by 2.60% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 15.84%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 7.33% to 7.34% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-10-31 vs. 3 months ending 2010-10-31). Short float at 1.43%, which implies a short ratio of 2.31 days. The stock has gained 9.27% over the last year.

9. Titan Machinery, Inc. (NASDAQ:TITN): Specialty Retail Industry. Market cap of $434.61M. MRQ Revenue grew by 37.13% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 48.28%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 5.08% to 6.56% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-10-31 vs. 3 months ending 2010-10-31). Short float at 12.1%, which implies a short ratio of 7.18 days. The stock has gained 113.36% over the last year.

10. WMS Industries Inc. (NYSE:WMS-OLD): Recreational Goods Industry. Market cap of $2.61B. MRQ Revenue grew by 13.43% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 23.79%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 44.38% to 53.70% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 6.07%, which implies a short ratio of 4.88 days. The stock has gained 9.76% over the last year.

11. Jones Apparel Group, Inc. (NYSE:JNY): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.11B. MRQ Revenue grew by 19.45% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 26.44%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 39.17% to 45.85% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-03 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-02). Short float at 5.25%, which implies a short ratio of 1.9 days. The stock has lost -15.37% over the last year.

12. RadioShack Corp. (NYSE:RSH): Electronics Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.81B. MRQ Revenue grew by 6.24% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 12.94%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 11.89% to 13.95% (comparing 3 months ending 2009-09-30 vs. 3 months ending 2010-09-30). Short float at 9.72%, which implies a short ratio of 3.23 days. The stock has lost -18.9% over the last year.

13. Ross Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:ROST): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $7.87B. MRQ Revenue grew by 7.46% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 13.54%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 2.77% to 2.83% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-31 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30). Short float at 2.87%, which implies a short ratio of 2.47 days. The stock has gained 47.92% over the last year.

14. BJ's Wholesale Club Inc. (NYSE:BJ): Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $2.41B. MRQ Revenue grew by 4.86% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 10.90%. Accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 10.39% to 10.80% (comparing 13 weeks ending 2009-10-31 vs. 13 weeks ending 2010-10-30). Short float at 2.28%, which implies a short ratio of 1.62 days. The stock has gained 33.39% over the last year.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.