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Interested in contrarian investing ideas?

To create this list, we started with a universe of stocks that are being targeted by short sellers, with short floats above 20%.

In addition, all of these companies have seen significant institutional selling during the most recent quarter (as shown by 13-F forms recently filed). All of the companies mentioned below have seen net institutional selling equivalent to more than 5% of company float.

(click to enlarge)

If you're a contrarian, this excessive bearishness might raise a flag. To help you get started analyzing the list, we sorted the names by net institutional sales as a percent of share float.

Use this list as a starting point for your own analysis.

1. The McClatchy Company (MNI): Operates as a newspaper publisher in the United States. Market cap at $201.49M, most recent closing price at $2.40. Short float at 27.39%, which represents about 37.06 days of average trading volume. Net institutional sales in the current quarter at -14.8M shares, which represents about 37.44% of the company's float of 39.53M shares.

2. ITT Educational Services Inc. (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 at $1.51B, most recent closing price at $61.82. Short float at 38.94%, which represents about 22.47 days of average trading volume. Net institutional sales in the current quarter at -4.0M shares, which represents about 26.25% of the company's float of 15.24M shares.

3. Higher One Inc. (ONE): Provides technology and payment services to the higher education industry in the United States. Market cap at $803.62M, most recent closing price at $14.49. Short float at 29.38%, which represents about 26.71 days of average trading volume. Net institutional sales in the current quarter at -4.6M shares, which represents about 16.64% of the company's float of 27.64M shares.

4. hhgregg, Inc. (HGG): Operates as a specialty retailer of consumer electronics, home appliances, and related services. Market cap at $362.72M, most recent closing price at $9.60. Short float at 29.93%, which represents about 32.98 days of average trading volume. Net institutional sales in the current quarter at -1.4M shares, which represents about 9.39% of the company's float of 14.91M shares.

5. American Greetings Corp. (AM-OLD): Engages in the design, manufacture, and sale of greeting cards and other social expression products worldwide. Market cap at $507.21M, most recent closing price at $14.52. Short float at 37.90%, which represents about 19.91 days of average trading volume. Net institutional sales in the current quarter at -2.8M shares, which represents about 8.94% of the company's float of 31.31M shares.

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

Source: Top 5 Short Seller Targets Being Dumped By Hedge Fund Managers