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Upstream Stocks that Lead in Short Interest

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 1:18 p.m. ET

Short interest-to-equity float ratios

On October 28, 2016, California Resources (CRC) had the highest short interest-to-equity float ratio of ~44.8% among the upstream stocks in the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). One month ago, CRC’s ratio was ~44%. Three months ago, it was ~30.5%.

California Resources’ short interest-to-equity float ratio has risen 46.9% over the last three months. During this period, the stock has risen 6.7%. The company’s net debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) ratio is 7.2x. Its cash and cash equivalents were ~$2 million in 2Q16.

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California Resources was also among the high implied volatility stocks that we looked at in the previous two parts of this series. Expectations of large moves in a stock can push up its implied volatility. High short interest in a stock reflects traders’ expectations of downside in a stock. It can also be the reason for high volatility in a stock. Stock prices can move wildly as bulls and bears slug it out.

Continental Resources

Continental Resources’ (CLR) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~25.3%. One month ago, it was ~23.1%. Three months ago, it was 24.7%. Its stock has risen ~14.3% in the last three months. The stock’s short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 2.4% during this period. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled ~$16.6 million in 2Q16. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio was 3.7x.

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Synergy Resources

Synergy Resources’ (SYRG) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~24.5%. One month ago, it was 22.9%. Three months ago, it was ~13.4%. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled $133.9 million. Synergy Resources has risen ~8.6% in the past three months. Its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 82.4%.

Whiting Petroleum

Whiting Petroleum’s (WLL) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~22.6%. One month ago, it was ~24.7%. Three months ago, it was ~15.8%.

Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is 4.6x. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled $15.3 million in 2Q16. The stock has risen 19.7% in the past three months. Its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 43.3% during the same period.

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Denbury Resources Inc

Denbury Resources’ (DNR) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~20.7%. One month ago, it was ~20.2%. Three months ago, it was ~22%. In the past three months, the stock has fallen ~10.7%.

In the past three months, Denbury Resources’ short interest-to-equity float ratio fell 5.7%. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio was 3.6x in 2Q16. Its cash and cash equivalents totaled $2.5 million. (Denbury Resources (DNR) is one of the high implied volatility stocks that we discussed in Part 1 of this series.)

Other upstream stocks

Oasis Petroleum (OAS) and Matador Resources (MTDR) have short interest-to-equity float ratios of ~18.4% and ~18.7%, respectively.

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