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If you consider yourself a contrarian investor, you may be interested in this list.

We ran a screen on highly shorted stocks, with short floats above 20%. We then screened these stocks for those that have impressive profitability, beating their industry peers on gross, operating, and pretax margins.

Companies with higher profitability margins are taking a greater percentage of sales as profits, and may have greater control over their expenses.

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 think these stocks should be shorted so highly? Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

List sorted by difference between gross margin and industry average.

1. Teavana Holdings, Inc. (TEA): Operates as a specialty retailer of loose-leaf teas, teawares, and other tea-related merchandise. Market cap of $652.59M. Short float at 38.33%. TTM gross margin at 64.24% vs. industry gross margin at 37.75%. TTM operating margin at 17.88% vs. industry operating margin at 9.98%. TTM pretax margin at 16.44% vs. industry pretax margin at 9.32%. The stock has had a good month, gaining 16.04%.

2. Bridgepoint Education, Inc. (NYSE:BPI): Provides postsecondary education services. Market cap of $1.28B. Short float at 20.90%. TTM gross margin at 74.50% vs. industry gross margin at 53.25%. TTM operating margin at 31.30% vs. industry operating margin at 21.68%. TTM pretax margin at 31.56% vs. industry pretax margin at 18.88%. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 6.03% over the last week.

3. Higher One Inc. (NYSE:ONE): Provides technology and payment services to the higher education industry in the United States. Market cap of $988.01M. Short float at 23.33%. TTM gross margin at 66.84% vs. industry gross margin at 48.54%. TTM operating margin at 28.53% vs. industry operating margin at 26.94%. TTM pretax margin at 29.22% vs. industry pretax margin at 26.94%. The stock has lost 12.72% over the last year.

4. Robbins & Myers Inc. (NYSE:RBN): Supplies engineered equipment and systems for various applications in energy, industrial, chemical, and pharmaceutical markets worldwide. Market cap of $2.34B. Short float at 24.79%. TTM gross margin at 41.01% vs. industry gross margin at 32.24%. TTM operating margin at 20.33% vs. industry operating margin at 12.99%. TTM pretax margin at 17.45% vs. industry pretax margin at 11.05%. The stock has gained 23.48% over the last year.

5. C&J Energy Services, Inc. (NYSE:CJES): Provides specialty equipment services for oil and natural gas exploration and production companies in the Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma regions of the United States. Market cap of $921.57M. Short float at 43.34%. TTM gross margin at 43.63% vs. industry gross margin at 34.82%. TTM operating margin at 34.12% vs. industry operating margin at 18.14%. TTM pretax margin at 31.30% vs. industry pretax margin at 16.12%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 14.12% over the last week.

6. ITT Educational Services Inc. (NYSE:ESI): Offers postsecondary-degree programs in the U.S. that provide diplomas as well as associate's, bachelor's, and master's degrees. Market cap of $1.75B. Short float at 38.65%. TTM gross margin at 65.67% vs. industry gross margin at 53.20%. TTM operating margin at 35.21% vs. industry operating margin at 21.61%. TTM pretax margin at 35.28% vs. industry pretax margin at 18.79%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.93, and P/FCF ratio at 3.84. The stock has had a good month, gaining 27.75%.

7. Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. (NASDAQ:GMCR): Engages in the specialty coffee and coffee maker business. Market cap of $7.95B. Short float at 22.05%. TTM gross margin at 38.41% vs. industry gross margin at 32.73%. TTM operating margin at 14.61% vs. industry operating margin at 11.96%. TTM pretax margin at 11.42% vs. industry pretax margin at 9.42%. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 7.08% over the last week.

8. USANA Health Sciences Inc. (NYSE:USNA): Develops, manufactures, distributes, and sells nutritional and personal care products worldwide. Market cap of $496.97M. Short float at 34.50%. TTM gross margin at 82.28% vs. industry gross margin at 71.07%. TTM operating margin at 13.14% vs. industry operating margin at 13.08%. TTM pretax margin at 13.23% vs. industry pretax margin at 10.68%. Might be undervalued at current levels, with a PEG ratio at 0.66, and P/FCF ratio at 7.73. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.9% over the last week.

9. Strayer Education Inc. (NASDAQ:STRA): Provides various academic programs through traditional classrooms and Internet. Market cap of $1.33B. Short float at 24.74%. TTM gross margin at 60.17% vs. industry gross margin at 53.25%. TTM operating margin at 29.94% vs. industry operating margin at 21.68%. TTM pretax margin at 29.63% vs. industry pretax margin at 18.88%. The stock has had a good month, gaining 21.99%.

10. Weight Watchers International, Inc. (NYSE:WTW): Provides weight management services worldwide. Market cap of $5.19B. Short float at 20.86%. TTM gross margin at 58.63% vs. industry gross margin at 53.20%. TTM operating margin at 29.62% vs. industry operating margin at 21.61%. TTM pretax margin at 25.92% vs. industry pretax margin at 18.79%. The stock has had a good month, gaining 21.33%.

11. Vera Bradley, Inc. (NASDAQ:VRA): Engages in the design, production, marketing, and retail of functional accessories for women under the "Vera Bradley" brand. Market cap of $1.40B. Short float at 49.16%. TTM gross margin at 58.02% vs. industry gross margin at 53.81%. TTM operating margin at 18.79% vs. industry operating margin at 16.35%. TTM pretax margin at 20.36% vs. industry pretax margin at 15.32%. The stock has lost 1.2% over the last year.

12. Zumiez, Inc. (NASDAQ:ZUMZ): Provides sports-related apparel, footwear, equipment, and accessories. Market cap of $930.48M. Short float at 21.62%. TTM gross margin at 39.92% vs. industry gross margin at 37.78%. TTM operating margin at 10.02% vs. industry operating margin at 10.0%. TTM pretax margin at 10.33% vs. industry pretax margin at 9.34%. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 5.8% over the last week.

*Profitability data sourced from Fidelity, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Source: 12 Highly Shorted Stocks With Impressive Profitability