Short interest figures for the middle of May were released after the close yesterday, and in the table below we have provided a list of the 25 S&P 1500 stocks that have the highest short interest levels as a percentage of float. Leading the list in this update is Cal Maine Foods (CALM), which has over half of its free-floating shares sold short. One factor not helping CALM is the price of eggs, which have dropped significantly from year ago levels, as the industry recovers from last years avian flu outbreak. Month to date, CALM is down nearly 10%, so for now, the negative bet is paying off. Behind CALM, Adeptus Health (ADPT) and LendingTree (TREE) both also have half of their free-floating shares sold short. That’s some pretty bearish sentiment!
In terms of overall performance, short-sellers should be having a pretty good month. As shown at the bottom of the table, the average performance of the 25 stocks listed is a decline of 6.93% (median: -5.98%) compared to a gain of 1.14% for the S&P 1500 as a whole. If you were to just pick 25 stocks at random, you would be hard-pressed to end up with an overall return that was as bad as the performance of this list.