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How Much Has Short Interest in HAL, BHI, FTI, and SLB Fallen since 3Q16?

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Short interest in oilfield services

In this part, we’ll analyze how short interests for our select group of four mid-cap OFS (oilfield services) companies have changed. Short interest refers to the number of shares sold short, divided by the number of shares outstanding. A fall in short interest as a percentage of float—or a fall in short interest—indicates that fewer investors expect the stock’s price to fall.

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Short interest in Schlumberger

Short interest in Schlumberger (SLB) as a percentage of float was 1.3% as of November 4. This figure is unchanged as compared to SLB’s short interest on September 30. Since September 30, short interest in SLB’s shares has remained nearly unchanged.

Since September 30, SLB’s stock price has fallen 1%. Investors should note that the market could go against investor sentiment. Share prices could also rise when investors start buying the stock to cover their short positions.

Short interest for HAL, BHI, and FTI

Short interest in Halliburton (HAL) as a percentage of float has risen to 3.0% as of November 4, as compared to 2.5% as of September 30. Since September 30, short interest in HAL’s shares has risen 19%. Since September 30, HAL’s stock price has risen 3%, despite the rise in short interest. Notably, HAL makes up 1.8% of the iShares Global Energy ETF (IXC). The oil and gas equipment and services industry makes up 9.7% of IXC.

Short interest in Baker Hughes (BHI) as a percentage of float has fallen 2.0% as of November 4, as compared to 2.3% as of September 30. Since September 30, short interest in BHI’s shares has fallen 12%. BHI’s stock price has fallen nearly 15% since September 30, reflecting the fall in short interest.

Short interest in FMC Technologies (FTI) as a percentage of float has risen to ~7.1% as of November 4, as compared to 5.6% on September 30. Since September 30, short interest in FTI’s share has risen 9%. Despite that, FTI’s share price rose ~9% in the same period.

We’ll discuss the implied volatility of these four OFS stocks in the next part.

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