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When looking for undervalued opportunities on the brink of a comeback, excessive bearishness can be a great contrarian guide. The only trick is to spot what is actually “excessive.”

Below is a list of 20 stocks that are being highly shorted, with float shorts above 15%. These stocks have also seen significant net selling by institutions over the current quarter, expressed as a percent of share float.

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We also created an equal weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.

Do you think these stocks are about to bounce back? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis. List sorted by net institutional shares sold as a percent of share float.

1. AnnTaylor Stores Corp. (ANN): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.59B. Float short at 17.23%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 15.4M, which is 34.65% of a 44.44M share float. The stock has gained 28.85% over the last year.

2. RPC Inc. (RES): Oil & Gas Equipment & Services Industry. Market cap of $3.65B. Float short at 23.47%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 13.8M, which is 28.01% of a 49.27M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.02% over the last week.

3. Strayer Education Inc. (STRA): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $1.43B. Float short at 24.89%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.9M, which is 26.58% of a 10.91M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 19.72%.

4. RadioShack Corp. (RSH): Electronics Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.69B. Float short at 17.11%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 21.3M, which is 21.34% of a 99.81M share float. The stock has lost 21.95% over the last year.

5. DSW Inc. (DSW): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.97B. Float short at 46.00%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.2M, which is 14.68% of a 14.99M share float. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.53% over the last week.

6. Group 1 Automotive Inc. (GPI): Auto Dealerships Industry. Market cap of $988.42M. Float short at 17.35%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.8M, which is 13.04% of a 21.48M share float. The stock has gained 38.74% over the last year.

7. Dillard's Inc. (DDS): Department Stores Industry. Market cap of $2.70B. Float short at 30.11%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.4M, which is 11.66% of a 37.75M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.57). The stock has had a good month, gaining 13.04%.

8. Skechers USA Inc. (SKX): Apparel Footwear & Accessories Industry. Market cap of $917.13M. Float short at 16.49%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.0M, which is 11.03% of a 36.27M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 12.87%.

9. Synaptics Inc. (SYNA): Computer Peripherals Industry. Market cap of $980.58M. Float short at 29.04%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.5M, which is 10.31% of a 33.96M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.41%.

10. NuVasive, Inc. (NUVA): Medical Instruments & Supplies Industry. Market cap of $1.26B. Float short at 17.01%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.9M, which is 9.88% of a 39.46M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 20.39%.

11. Cavium Networks, Inc. (CAVM): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $2.22B. Float short at 15.13%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 4.4M, which is 9.66% of a 45.56M share float. The stock has gained 71.9% over the last year.

12. ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI): Education & Training Services Industry. Market cap of $1.97B. Float short at 23.03%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.1M, which is 9.40% of a 22.35M share float. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.63%.

13. Coinstar Inc. (CSTR): Business Equipment Industry. Market cap of $1.67B. Float short at 40.68%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.3M, which is 7.82% of a 29.43M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 10.67%.

14. Saks Incorporated (SKS): Department Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.85B. Float short at 27.87%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 8.3M, which is 7.81% of a 106.29M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.64). The stock has gained 21.72% over the last year.

15. PHH Corporation (PHH): Credit Services Industry. Market cap of $1.24B. Float short at 17.71%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.2M, which is 7.41% of a 43.20M share float. The stock has gained 0.82% over the last year.

16. Trina Solar Ltd. (TSL): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $2.13B. Float short at 15.02%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 5.4M, which is 7.41% of a 72.87M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 3.04). The stock has gained 20.68% over the last year.

17. The Cheesecake Factory Incorporated (CAKE): Restaurants Industry. Market cap of $1.75B. Float short at 15.86%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.7M, which is 6.70% of a 55.20M share float. The stock has gained 14.01% over the last year.

18. 99 (NDN): Discount, Variety Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.43B. Float short at 15.56%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 3.1M, which is 6.64% of a 46.72M share float. The stock has gained 38.13% over the last year.

19. Blackboard Inc. (BBBB): Multimedia & Graphics Software Industry. Market cap of $1.59B. Float short at 39.82%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 2.2M, which is 6.44% of a 34.18M share float. The stock has had a good month, gaining 20.08%.

20. The Children's Place Retail Stores, Inc. (PLCE): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $1.38B. Float short at 17.82%. Net institutional shares sold over the current quarter at 1.4M, which is 6.32% of a 22.15M share float. The stock has gained 20.59% over the last year.

Institutional data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 20 Highly-Shorted Stocks Seeing Institutional Selling