Squeeze Ideas: 15 Highly Shorted Stocks Backed by Insider Buying

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 |  Includes: AMSC, AUXL, CMEDQ, DOLE, ESI, INWK, IRDM, KITD, MNKD, OSGB, QDEL, REXX, SKS, TXI, TZOO
by: Kapitall

If you're looking for short squeeze ideas, the following list might be an interesting starting point.

All of these stocks have, on average, seen more insider buying than insider selling over the last two years (excluding exercised options) suggesting that those closest to the company remain optimistic on the outlook. However, many investors appear to think otherwise. All these stocks mentioned below have been targeted by short sellers, with short floats higher than 15%.

Insiders seem to be enthusiastic about the prospects of their employers. Do they know something we don't? Short sellers might be too pessimistic on these names, and there's a real possibility of a short squeeze once they have to cover. Full details below.

Insider data sourced from Fidelity, 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 average number of shares purchased by insiders per year over the last two years.

1. Saks Incorporated (NYSE:SKS): Department Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.79B. Insiders purchased an average of 2,308,013 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 21.27%, which implies a short ratio of 8.23 days. The stock has gained 72.83% over the last year.

2. MannKind Corp. (NASDAQ:MNKD): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $642.57M. Insiders purchased an average of 1,746,833 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 28.54%, which implies a short ratio of 5.28 days. The stock has lost -41.14% over the last year.

3. Texas Industries Inc. (NYSE:TXI): Cement Industry. Market cap of $1.12B. Insiders purchased an average of 1,193,465 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 22.97%, which implies a short ratio of 26.22 days. The stock has gained 22.95% over the last year.

4. Iridium Communications Inc. (NASDAQ:IRDM): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $559.89M. Insiders purchased an average of 1,048,656 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 18.6%, which implies a short ratio of 20.85 days. The stock has gained 18.07% over the last year.

5. American Superconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:AMSC): Diversified Electronics Industry. Market cap of $1.47B. Insiders purchased an average of 938,416 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 24.6%, which implies a short ratio of 12.08 days. The stock has lost -9.66% over the last year.

6. KIT digital, Inc. (OTC:KITD): Entertainment Industry. Market cap of $347.13M. Insiders purchased an average of 326,227 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 22.89%, which implies a short ratio of 16.34 days. The stock has gained 46.17% over the last year.

7. ITT Educational Services Inc. (NYSE:ESI): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $2.06B. Insiders purchased an average of 250,011 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 23.66%, which implies a short ratio of 8.34 days. The stock has lost -31.42% over the last year.

8. China Medical Technologies Inc. (CMED):
Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $420.48M. Insiders purchased an average of 127,600 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 21.4%, which implies a short ratio of 15.03 days. The stock has gained 0.23% over the last year.

9. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUXL): Drug Related Products Industry. Market cap of $1.11B. Insiders purchased an average of 106,504 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 21.5%, which implies a short ratio of 12.27 days. The stock has lost -26% over the last year.

10. Quidel Corp. (NASDAQ:QDEL): Diagnostic Substances Industry. Market cap of $427.83M. Insiders purchased an average of 96,974 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 17.54%, which implies a short ratio of 23.17 days. The stock has gained 0.84% over the last year.

11. InnerWorkings Inc. (NASDAQ:INWK): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $312.91M. Insiders purchased an average of 92,417 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 20.12%, which implies a short ratio of 57.6 days. The stock has gained 24.09% over the last year.

12. Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (NYSEMKT:OSG):
Shipping Industry. Market cap of $998.99M. Insiders purchased an average of 64,400 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 20.98%, which implies a short ratio of 9.76 days. The stock has lost -16.57% over the last year.

13. Dole Food Company Inc. (NYSE:DOLE): Food Industry. Market cap of $1.31B. Insiders purchased an average of 31,786 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 20.22%, which implies a short ratio of 13.07 days. The stock has gained 34.67% over the last year.

14. Travelzoo Inc. (NASDAQ:TZOO): Internet Information Providers Industry. Market cap of $741.77M. Insiders purchased an average of 30,258 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 21.21%, which implies a short ratio of 3.87 days. The stock has gained 289.3% over the last year.

15. Rex Energy Corporation (NASDAQ:REXX): Oil & Gas Drilling & Exploration Industry. Market cap of $524.09M. Insiders purchased an average of 23,250 shares per year over the last two years. Short float at 19.15%, which implies a short ratio of 11.73 days. The stock has gained 3.73% 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.