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Short selling, a technique for profiting on a stock’s price decline, is a useful measure of the market’s current sentiment on a stock. When a company sees decreases in shares shorted, it indicates that short sellers are more bullish on the stock’s short-term outlook.

We screened over 4,000 US-traded stocks for those paying dividend yields above 2% and sustainable payout ratios below 50%. We screened this universe of dividend stocks for those with significant decreases in shares shorted month-over-month (a bullish change in sentiment).

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.‬


We also created a price-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 agree with this bullish change in sentiment from short sellers? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by dividend yield.

1. Gafisa S.A. (NYSE:GFA): Operates as a homebuilder in Brazil. Market cap of $1.49B. Dividend yield at 4.42%, payout ratio at 33.75%. Shares shorted have decreased from 6.59M to 4.49M month-over-month, a change representing 1.05% of the company's 199.26M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.54). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 19.14% over the last week. The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 17.74%.

2. Bon-Ton Stores Inc. (NASDAQ:BONT):
Operates department stores in the mid-size and metropolitan markets of the United States. Market cap of $92.94M. Dividend yield at 4.24%, payout ratio at 21.14%. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.70M to 2.53M month-over-month, a change representing 1.63% of the company's 10.40M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.67). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.25% (equivalent to 10.51 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 25.43%.

3. Hasbro Inc. (NASDAQ:HAS):
Engages in the design, manufacture, and marketing of games and toys. Market cap of $4.67B. Dividend yield at 3.45%, payout ratio at 40.49%. Shares shorted have decreased from 5.91M to 4.69M month-over-month, a change representing 1.01% of the company's 120.20M share float. The stock has lost 20.95% over the last year.

4. Tower Group Inc. (NASDAQ:TWGP):
Provides a range of commercial, personal, and specialty property and casualty insurance products and services to businesses in various industries and to individuals in the United States. Market cap of $937.98M. Dividend yield at 3.30%, payout ratio at 19.08%. Shares shorted have decreased from 4.12M to 3.70M month-over-month, a change representing 1.12% of the company's 37.39M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.88% (equivalent to 11.21 days of average volume). The stock has lost 1.43% over the last year.

5. Frisch's Restaurants Inc. (NYSEMKT:FRS):
Operates restaurants in the United States. Market cap of $98.11M. Dividend yield at 3.22%, payout ratio at 30.88%. Shares shorted have decreased from 19.00K to 18.02K month-over-month, a change representing 1.17% of the company's 83.70K share float. The stock has gained 3.06% over the last year.

6. Gannett Co., Inc. (NYSE:GCI):
Operates as a media and marketing solutions company in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $2.63B. Dividend yield at 3.19%, payout ratio at 7.40%. Shares shorted have decreased from 30.17M to 27.36M month-over-month, a change representing 1.17% of the company's 239.18M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.45). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 10.6% above its SMA20 and 7.51% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades -19.28% below its SMA200. The stock has lost 13.52% over the last year.

7. Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. (NYSE:CTB):
Manufactures and markets replacement tires in North America and internationally. Market cap of $823.08M. Dividend yield at 3.18%, payout ratio at 23.13%. Shares shorted have decreased from 4.94M to 4.30M month-over-month, a change representing 1.10% of the company's 58.30M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.4). The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 18.12% above its SMA20 and 15.87% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 33.13% below its SMA200. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.94% over the last week.

8. Janus Capital Group, Inc. (NYSE:JNS):
A publicly owned asset management holding company. Market cap of $1.22B. Dividend yield at 3.07%, payout ratio at 5.22%. Shares shorted have decreased from 9.86M to 6.72M month-over-month, a change representing 1.74% of the company's 180.04M share float. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.66). Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.88, and P/FCF ratio at 4.7. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 11.45% over the last week.

9. TIM Participacoes S.A. (NYSE:TSU):
Provides mobile telecommunications services through global system mobile (NASDAQ:GSM) technology to business and individual customers in Brazil. Market cap of $6.23B. Dividend yield at 3.02%, payout ratio at 19.30%. Shares shorted have decreased from 6.48M to 5.06M month-over-month, a change representing 1.03% of the company's 137.76M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.23% over the last week.

10. Brinker International Inc. (NYSE:EAT):
Develops, operates, and franchises various restaurant brands primarily in the United States. Market cap of $1.84B. Dividend yield at 2.87%, payout ratio at 36.46%. Shares shorted have decreased from 14.23M to 12.30M month-over-month, a change representing 2.36% of the company's 81.81M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 15.03% (equivalent to 5.48 days of average volume). The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.19% over the last week.

11. Lender Processing Services, Inc. (NYSE:LPS):
Provides integrated technology and outsourced services to the mortgage lending industry in the United States. Market cap of $1.26B. Dividend yield at 2.68%, payout ratio at 14.65%. Shares shorted have decreased from 7.47M to 6.19M month-over-month, a change representing 1.67% of the company's 76.46M share float. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.61, and P/FCF ratio at 4.01. The stock has lost 42.61% over the last year.

12. J. C. Penney Company, Inc. (NYSE:JCP):
Operates department stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. Market cap of $6.41B. Dividend yield at 2.66%, payout ratio at 47.91%. Shares shorted have decreased from 38.91M to 33.85M month-over-month, a change representing 3.51% of the company's 144.22M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 19.02% (equivalent to 5.39 days of average volume). The stock has had a good month, gaining 11.14%.

13. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (NASDAQ:CALM):
Engages in the production, grading, packaging, marketing, and distribution of shell eggs primarily in the southeastern, southwestern, mid-western, and mid-Atlantic regions of the United States. Market cap of $779.36M. Dividend yield at 2.54%, payout ratio at 33.38%. Shares shorted have decreased from 3.16M to 2.86M month-over-month, a change representing 2.22% of the company's 13.50M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 21.16% (equivalent to 17.87 days of average volume). The stock has gained 22.33% over the last year.

14. Cracker Barrel Old Country Store, Inc. (NASDAQ:CBRL):
Engages in the operation and development of the Cracker Barrel Old Country Store restaurant and retail concept in the United States. Market cap of $953.49M. Dividend yield at 2.40%, payout ratio at 24.58%. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.31M to 1.69M month-over-month, a change representing 3.18% of the company's 19.52M share float. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 8.34% (equivalent to 5.4 days of average volume). The stock has lost 19.79% over the last year.

15. Tupperware Brands Corporation (NYSE:TUP):
Operates as a direct seller of various products across a range of brands and categories through an independent sales force. Market cap of $3.48B. Dividend yield at 2.09%, payout ratio at 30.16%. Shares shorted have decreased from 2.43M to 1.71M month-over-month, a change representing 1.21% of the company's 59.57M share float. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 10.06% over the last week.

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

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

Source: 15 Dividend Stocks With Bullish Short Trends