The Ten Most-Shorted Stocks Include Huge Market Movers In 2023

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Tesla (TSLA) has a large number of shares sold short, but it’s relatively low as share of the float. But three EV makers are among the most-shorted stocks: VinFast Auto (VFS), Fisker (FSR) and Faraday Future Intelligent Electric (FFIE). Also among the 10-most shorted stocks: Soleno Therapeutics (SLNO), Novavax (NVAX), Beyond Meat (BYND), Upstart Holdings (UPST), C3.ai (AI), Carvana (CVNA) and Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust (WHLR).

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Heavily shorted stocks are prone to huge rallies, as shorts rush to cover, fueling further short covering. Indeed, AI stock, Upstart and Carvana are all up more than 100% in 2023, with SLNO stock up more than 1,000%. But heavily shorted stocks often are in terrible shape, with weak or deteriorating fundamentals or even doubts about the company’s future. Several names on this list are big losers, with Wheeler REIT and FFIE stock down more than 90% in 2023.

10 Most Shorted Stocks

Symbol Company YTD chg Short interest as of Sept. 29 Float Shorted as share of float
VFS VinFast Auto n.a. 4,070,944 7,085,321 57.5%
SLNO Soleno Therapeutics 1104.29% 1,570,248 3,049,963 51.5%
NVAX Novavax -35.36% 44,435,101 87,565,843 50.7%
FSR Fisker -14.31% 89,262,714 191,857,967 46.5%
BYND Beyond Meat -28.31% 25,172,512 60,704,027 41.5%
FFIE Faraday Future -95.39% 7,089,424 17,265,876 41.1%
UPST Upstart Holdings 119.14% 27,280,228 71,126,787 38.4%
AI C3.ai 121.54% 37,484,724 98,930,819 37.9%
CVNA Carvana 630.38% 31,834,127 84,574,840 37.6%
WHLR Wheeler REIT -93.59% 228,031 609,323 37.4%
Source: Marketwatch

VinFast Stock

VinFast Auto is a Vietnamese electric vehicle maker. Deliveries are ramping up from a low base, but VinFast is losing money. The Tesla rival hopeful has big ambitions, including a planned North Carolina factory.

Some 57.5% of the VinFast stock float was shorted as of Sept. 29.

VFS stock came public via a SPAC in mid-August, opening at 22 a share. Shares skyrocketed to 93 on Aug. 28, giving VinFast one of the largest valuations of any automakers. VinFast stock quickly plunged, hitting a record-low 7.23 on Oct. 9. It closed at 7..98 on Oct. 13.

Shares plunged on Oct. 16 to a new record low, after VinFast said it would need to raise more capital down the road.

Soleno Therapeutics Stock

Soleno Therapeutics is a development-stage biotech. Some 51.5% of the SLNO stock float is shorted.

Soleno stock skyrocketed 505% on Sept. 26, after the company announced positive trial results for its treatment for Prader-Willi syndrome. All told, SLNO stock has spiked 1,104% in 2023.

Novavax Stock

Novavax is a vaccine maker, and has produced a coronavirus vaccine. Sales have jumped, but demand for its Covid vaccine has lagged that of mRNA vaccines from Pfizer (PFE) and Moderna (MRNA).

Some 50.7% of NVAX stock is shorted.

Novavax stock has declined 35.4% in 2023 to 6.63. Shares hit a six-month low on Oct. 16 after Pfizer warned of weaker Covid vaccine sales. NVAX stock has cratered since hitting 331.68 in February 2021.

Fisker Stock

Fisker is an EV maker, though it outsources manufacturing to partners. The Ocean SUV is starting to ramp up deliveries. That should boost revenue from near zero, but profits are a long way off.

FSR stock shorts equal 46.5% of the float.

The Tesla rival is off 14.3% in 2023, but has rallied from April’s all-time of 4.26 to 6.21 as of Sept. 29. Shares have a bottoming base with a 7.22 buy point, just above the 50-day line but below the 200-day. FSR stock is well off the March 2021 peak of 31.96.

Beyond Meat Stock

Beyond Meat is a leading producer of fake meat. After initially seeing big growth and briefly turning a profit in 2019, Beyond Meat has seen huge losses and big sales declines.

Roughly 41.5% of the BYND stock float is shorted.

Beyond Meat stock is down 28.3% in 2023, hitting a record low of 7.90 on Oct. 12. That’s vs. the July 2019 all-time high of 239.71.

Faraday Future Stock

Faraday Future is an EV startup. After several years of waiting, Faraday in August delivered a production-spec FF 91, priced at $309,900. But it’s not clear when meaningful production or deliveries will occur. The company is suffering massive losses on essentially no revenue.

Some 41.1% of FFIE stock is shorted.

Shares are down 95.4% in 2023, hitting a record-low 1.01 earlier this month. Faraday stock hit a record 1,652 In January 2021, adjusted for a recent 1-for-100 reverse split.

Upstart Stock

Upstart offers a cloud-based AI lending platform, heavily focused on auto loans. The company was profitable in 2019-2022, but is set to lose money in 2023 amid plunging revenue. Earnings are set to return next year.

UPST stock shorts equal 38.4% of the float.

Upstart stock has skyrocketed in 2023, up 119.1%. But that’s after plunging from a 52-week high of 72.58 on Aug. 1 to just 27.13 on Oct. 13. Upstart stock hit a record 401.49 in October 2021.

AI Stock

C3.ai is an AI-focused software maker. The company is losing money, but analysts see it nearly breaking even in fiscal 2025, ending in April 2025. Revenue growth has been so-so in recent quarters. Fiscal Q1 2024 revenue rose 11% vs. a year earlier but was flat vs. the prior quarter.

As of Sept. 29, 37.9% of AI stock was shorted.

C3.ai stock has leapt 121.5% this year, but shares have nearly halved from the June 16 peak of 48.87 to the Oct. 13 close of 24.75. AI stock hit a record 183.90 in December 2000, a few weeks after its IPO.

Carvana Stock

Carvana is an online used-car dealer. After narrowing losses in 2021, Carvana bled massive red ink in 2022. Losses are continuing amid tumbling revenue, though Carvana achieved some positive metrics in Q2.

CVNA stock shorting is equal to 37.6% of the float.

Carvana stock is up a massive 630.4% in 2023. Shares peaked for the year at 57.19 on July 20, then nearly topped that on Sept. 14, when it broke out of a cup-with-handle base. But since then shares have sold off hard.

CVNA peaked at 376.83 in August 2021.

Wheeler REIT Stock

Wheeler Real Estate Investment Trust owns a number of shopping centers anchored by grocery stores. Its reported huge funds from operation losses in for the last several quarters. Revenue has jumped thanks to a late 2022 merger.

Some 37.4% of WHLR stock’s float is shorted.

Wheeler stock has dived 93.6% this year, hitting a record-low 82 cents last week. Shares have been falling almost since its November 2012 IPO, with shares peaking at 547.19 in December 2012.

Tesla Stock

As for Tesla stock, some 82,428,956 shares were sold short as of Sept. 29. But that was just 2.4% of the float, and less one day of typical trading.

The EV giant reports earnings on Oct. 18, with analysts expecting the worst EPS in two years.

But bulls are looking ahead. Tesla stock is up 103.9% in 2023, not far potential new buy points.

Please follow Ed Carson on X/Twitter at .@IBD_ECarson, Threads at @edcarson1971 and Bluesky at @edcarson.bsky.social for stock market updates and more.

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