Thursday, December 10, 2015

Huge Profits With Short Squeeze Stocks

By now, most readers have heard about Keurig Green Mountain, Inc. (GMCR), which jumped about 75% in one day, due to a takeover, and that hedge fund manager, David Einhorn had a short position in the stock. But even a rumor of a takeover can send a stock higher, causing short sellers to scramble to cover their positions, creating what is called a short squeeze.

A technique that stock traders often use is buying short squeeze stocks. Let's go at a more extensive explanation of what a short squeeze stock is and what a short squeeze is.

When you short a stock, it means that you expect to make money from a drop in the price of a stock. Technically what happens is that you borrow shares of a stock, sell those shares, then buy back those shares at a hopefully lower price so that those shares can be returned. Of course, this all happens electronically, you don't actually see all the borrowing and returning of shares; it just shows up on your computer screen as a negative number of shares.

Short sellers can make a lot of money, but sometimes when the stock moves against them, the stock starts to move up, and the short sellers jump in at once to buy shares to cover their position. This is called a  short squeeze. When a short squeeze takes place, it can cause the stock to rise fast and hard. Any type of positive news can trigger the short squeeze.

So other traders take advantage of this situation buy looking for stocks to buy that may have a potential short squeeze. Here is what they look for:
  • Short Percentage of Float ~ The float is the number of freely tradable shares and the short percentage is the number of shares held short divided by the float. Amounts over 10% to 20% are considered high, and potential short squeeze plays. 
  • Short Ratio / Days to Cover / Short Interest Ratio -This is probably the most important metric when looking for short squeeze trades, no matter what you call it. This is the number of days it would take the short sellers to cover their position based on the average daily volume of shares traded. This is a significant ratio as it shows how "stuck" the short sellers are when they want to buy in their shares without driving up the price too much. Unfortunately for the shortsellers, the longer the number of days to cover, the bigger and longer the squeeze.
  • Short Percentage Increase ~ This is the percentage increase in in the number of short sellers from the previous month.
So what stocks are heavily shorted that may be worth a closer examination? Check out the following list, but be aware, that often some stocks are heavily shorted for a reason.

Stock Symbol Short Interest    Days To
Insys Therapeutics Inc INSY 86% 25
Pilgrim's Pride PPC 66% 27
SolarCity Corp SCTY 64% 8
Outerwall, Inc OUTR 56% 24
Cal-Maine Foods Inc CALM 52% 24
VASCO Data Security VDSI 46% 24
Tokai Pharmaceuticals TKAI 43% 26
MannKind Corp MNKD 41% 21
Freshpet Inc FRPT 40% 11
Wingstop Inc WING 37% 21

Just keep in mind the risks. If you are looking for other stock ideas, check out many of the free stock lists at

Disclosure: Author has a short put position on CALM (bullish).


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