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Here we present twelve stocks that are being highly shorted, with float shorts above 15%. These companies are also seeing accounts receivable grow faster than revenues during their most recent quarters, an accounting trend that deserves closer attention.

Whenever accounts receivable take up an increasingly larger portion of revenue, the quality of revenue is considered lower. This is because accounts receivable is an accrual (as opposed to cash), which is subject to management’s discretion.

However, such increases in accounts receivable could be due to structural changes in the business, such as a new credit policy or an acquisition. There may be several explanations for these trends, but whenever accounts receivable growth exceeds revenue growth, it flags the investor to take a second look.

Do you trust the revenue quality of these names?

Financial data sourced from Google Finance, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top five 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.

List sorted by difference between accounts receivable growth and revenue growth.

1. Auxilium Pharmaceuticals Inc. (NASDAQ:AUXL): Drug Related Products Industry. Market cap of $1.06B. Float short at 21.25%. MRQ Revenue grew by 28.73% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 71.16%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 8.71% to 16.52% year-over-year. AUXL has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.75), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.53% over the last week.

2. CoStar Group Inc. (NASDAQ:CSGP): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $1.23B. Float short at 15.53%. MRQ Revenue grew by 6.52% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 1.86%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 5.20% to 5.47% year-over-year. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.64% over the last week. [Ed. note: This information has been corrected since initial publication.]

3. Black Hills Corporation (NYSE:BKH): Electric Utilities Industry. Market cap of $1.27B. Float short at 15.60%. MRQ Revenue grew by -5.52% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 18.91%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 44.25% to 49.01% year-over-year. The stock has gained 14.72% over the last year.

4. Sanderson Farms, Inc. (NASDAQ:SAFM): Meat Products Industry. Market cap of $1.05B. Float short at 18.76%. MRQ Revenue grew by 1.81% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 20.31%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 27.34% to 28.11% year-over-year. SAFM has a relatively low correlation to the market (beta = 0.45), which may be appealing to risk-averse investors. The stock has lost 9.51% over the last year.

5. Collective Brands, Inc. (NYSE:PSS): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.30B. Float short at 15.19%. MRQ Revenue grew by 4.33% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 19.79%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 9.14% to 10.61% year-over-year. After a solid performance over the last year, PSS has pulled back during recent sessions. The stock is 2.82% below its SMA20 and 2.68% below its SMA50, but remains 15.49% above its SMA200. The stock has lost 5.83% over the last year.

6. OpenTable, Inc. (NASDAQ:OPEN): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $2.16B. Float short at 19.56%. MRQ Revenue grew by 60.51% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 74.41%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 8.95% to 19.90% year-over-year. The stock has gained 146.19% over the last year.

7. Lindsay Corporation (NYSE:LNN): Farm & Construction Machinery Industry. Market cap of $930.34M. Float short at 23.60%. MRQ Revenue grew by 3.72% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 16.39%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 25.63% to 28.85% year-over-year. The stock has gained 77.57% over the last year.

8. Blackboard Inc. (NASDAQ:BBBB): Multimedia & Graphics Software Industry. Market cap of $1.23B. Float short at 39.10%. MRQ Revenue grew by 17.66% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 30.12%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 26.21% to 48.27% year-over-year. The stock has lost 18.63% over the last year.

9. GSI Commerce Inc. (NASDAQ:GSIC): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $1.32B. Float short at 16.82%. MRQ Revenue grew by 24.82% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 36.55%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 18.56% to 22.19% year-over-year. The stock has had a couple of great days as well, gaining 6.47% over the last week, but the stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 11.04%.

10. NuVasive, Inc. (NASDAQ:NUVA): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $1.01B. Float short at 18.67%. MRQ Revenue grew by 20.91% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 31.08%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 18.44% to 20.61% year-over-year. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 14.45%.

11. Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG): Shipping Industry. Market cap of $945.48M. Float short at 20.30%. MRQ Revenue grew by -4.35% on a y/y basis, while accounts receivable grew by 5.74%. MRQ accounts receivable, as a percentage of current assets, increased from 30.15% to 43.81% year-over-year. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.94%.

Source: 11 Highly Shorted Stocks With Accounts Receivable Flags