Contrarian Ideas: 19 Underperforming Stocks Being Targeted by Short Sellers

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 |  Includes: ABX, APD, BBY, BVN, CHL, CUK, ENI, GGB, GM, HDB, KEP, MHS, NOK, SKM, SPLS, TS, TTM, V, XRX
by: Kapitall

If you're looking for contrarian ideas, the following list might be interesting to you.

Here we present nineteen stocks that have traded down over the last quarter, with increasing shares shorted month-over-month.

Do you think this bearish sentiment is likely to continue for these names? Or does this extreme pessimism create an opportunity? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis...

Short data sourced from Yahoo! Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.



List sorted by increase in shares shorted. (Note: Current month as of Feb. 15, 2011)

1. Barrick Gold Corporation (NYSE:ABX):
Gold Industry. Market cap of $50.75B. The stock has lost 4.60% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 95.82% month-over-month (from 5.98M to 11.71M shares shorted). ABX has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.42), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. The stock has gained 31.67% over the last year.

2. Enersis S.A. (NYSE:ENI): Foreign Utilities Industry. Market cap of $12.74B. The stock has lost 17.33% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 70.86% month-over-month (from 469.02K to 801.37K shares shorted). The stock has lost 3.75% over the last year.

3. Compania de Minas Buenaventura SA (NYSE:BVN): Gold Industry. Market cap of $12.0B. The stock has lost 13.72% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 70.37% month-over-month (from 442.43K to 753.79K shares shorted). It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.49% over the last week.

4. Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (NYSE:APD): Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $18.70B. The stock has lost 1.42% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 64.15% month-over-month (from 1.06M to 1.74M shares shorted). The stock has gained 19.68% over the last year.

5. SK Telecom Co. Ltd. (NYSE:SKM): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $11.98B. The stock has lost 2.28% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 51.15% month-over-month (from 2.62M to 3.96M shares shorted). SKM offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 4.25%, current ratio at 1.43, and quick ratio at 1.41. The stock has gained 3.43% over the last year.

6. Nokia Corporation (NYSE:NOK): Communication Equipment Industry. Market cap of $32.26B. The stock has lost 13.01% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 50.54% month-over-month (from 65.47M to 98.56M shares shorted). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 5.6% below its SMA20, 17.16% below its SMA50, and 15.43% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month as well, losing 27.62%.

7. Visa, Inc. (NYSE:V): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $51.68B. The stock has lost 8.17% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 46.69% month-over-month (from 7.71M to 11.31M shares shorted). The stock has lost 21.68% over the last year.

8. Xerox Corp. (NYSE:XRX): Business Equipment Industry. Market cap of $14.56B. The stock has lost 13.12% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 46.10% month-over-month (from 13.45M to 19.65M shares shorted). The stock has gained 7% over the last year.

9. HDFC Bank Ltd. (NYSE:HDB): Foreign Regional Banks Industry. Market cap of $23.72B. The stock has lost 3.71% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 38.75% month-over-month (from 333.15K to 462.26K shares shorted). The stock has gained 18.64% over the last year.

10. Carnival plc (NYSE:CUK): General Entertainment Industry. Market cap of $33.09B. The stock has lost 2.81% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 32.18% month-over-month (from 95.81K to 126.64K shares shorted). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.45%.

11. Best Buy Co. Inc. (NYSE:BBY): Electronics Stores Industry. Market cap of $12.43B. The stock has lost 24.63% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 25.27% month-over-month (from 16.82M to 21.07M shares shorted). BBY may be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.84, and P/FCF ratio at 10.71. The stock has lost 20.22% over the last year.

12. Tata Motors Ltd. (NYSE:TTM): Auto Manufacturer. Market cap of $14.69B. The stock has lost 7.61% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 24.43% month-over-month (from 3.93M to 4.89M shares shorted). Note that this is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.15). The stock has gained 43.96% over the last year.

13. MedcoHealth Solutions Inc. (NYSE:MHS): Drugs Wholesale Industry. Market cap of $24.93B. The stock has lost 3.26% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 24.20% month-over-month (from 5.62M to 6.98M shares shorted). The stock has lost 4.74% over the last year.

14. Gerdau S.A. (NYSE:GGB): Steel & Iron Industry. Market cap of $19.52B. The stock has lost 1.30% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 16.37% month-over-month (from 16.13M to 18.77M shares shorted). GGB may be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.66, and P/FCF ratio at 13.88. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock as well, losing 6.81% over the last week.

15. Tenaris SA (NYSE:TS): Steel & Iron Industry. Market cap of $26.44B. The stock has lost 2.23% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 15.37% month-over-month (from 6.96M to 8.03M shares shorted). The stock has gained 1.45% over the last year.

16. Korea Electric Power Corp. (NYSE:KEP): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $15.23B. The stock has lost 2.94% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 15.33% month-over-month (from 1.37M to 1.58M shares shorted). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 5.57% below its SMA20, 7.72% below its SMA50, and 10.44% below its SMA200. KEP has lost 27.85% over the last year.

17. China Mobile Limited (NYSE:CHL): Wireless Communications Industry. Market cap of $192.32B. The stock has lost 4.24% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 12.50% month-over-month (from 1.52M to 1.71M shares shorted). The stock offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.86%, current ratio at 1.32, and quick ratio at 1.31. The stock has gained 2.5% over the last year.

18. Staples, Inc. (NASDAQ:SPLS): Specialty Retail Industry. Market cap of $14.59B. The stock has lost 8.32% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 10.96% month-over-month (from 12.77M to 14.17M shares shorted). The stock has lost 11.94% over the last year.

19. General Motors Corporation (NYSE:GM): Auto Manufacturer. Market cap of $49.83B. The stock has lost 5.36% over the last quarter. Shares shorted have increased 10.81% month-over-month (from 26.00M to 28.81M shares shorted). The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 6.11% below its SMA20, 11.49% below its SMA50, and 9.84% below its SMA200. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.3%.

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