What Does Falling Short Interest in Marathon Oil Stock Mean?
Short interest in Marathon Oil stock
As of September 14, 2017, Marathon Oil’s (MRO) total shares shorted (or short interest) was ~41.1 million, whereas its average daily volume was ~6.8 million. That means the short interest ratio for MRO stock was ~3.21x. Marathon Oil stock’s average daily volume is calculated for the short interest reporting period from September 1, 2017, to September 14, 2017. Its short interest ratio has a 52-week high of 5.00x and a 52-week low of 2.14x.
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When we look at this from the perspective of shares outstanding, short interest in Marathon Oil stock as a percentage of shares outstanding is ~4.8%. Since the start of 2017, short interest in Marathon Oil stock as a percentage of shares outstanding has fallen from ~5.3% to ~4.8% in 2017. During that time, MRO stock has fallen ~31.0%. That means that short sellers are reducing their short bets in MRO since the stock fell, which could mean that they think MRO’s falling trend might come to an end. To know more about MRO stock’s year-to-date price performance, refer to Part 1 of this series.
Putting MRO’s short interest in context
As of September 14, 2017, oil and gas exploration and production companies California Resources (CRC), Range Resources (RRC), and Southwestern Energy (SWN) had short interest as a percentage of shares outstanding of ~39.4%, ~15.2%, and ~7.8%, respectively. So short interest in Marathon Oil stock as a percentage of shares outstanding is on the lower side compared to many other upstream stocks in the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP).