Short interest figures for the end of May were released after the close on Tuesday, and earlier today we sent out our semi-monthly Short Interest Report (subscribers only) to clients summarizing the major trends within the data. The table below lists the 25 most heavily shorted stocks (percentage of float) in the S&P 1500 as of the end of May. Topping the list are shares of World Acceptance (WRLD), which have a staggering 64% of their free-floating shares sold short. Behind WRLD, there are six other stocks on the list that have more than 40% of their float sold short. In scanning the full list, most people probably haven’t heard of the majority of these companies, but some of the more notable names listed include GameStop (GME), Outerwall (OUTR), JC Penney (JCP), Abercrombie & Fitch (ANF), and 3D Systems (DDD).
All in all, the 25 names listed have averaged a gain of 1.85% (median: +1.26%) this month, with 16 of the 25 names trading up. That compares to a gain of just 0.13% for the S&P 1500. Another notable aspect of the stocks listed is that there haven’t been a whole lot of big losers. While two of the winning stocks have seen gains in excess of 10%, not a single one of the losers is down more than 7%.