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Which Upstream Stocks Have the Highest Short Interest?

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Nov. 20 2020, Updated 3:51 p.m. ET

Upstream stocks that lead in short interest

On December 23, 2016, California Resources (CRC) had the highest short interest-to-equity float ratio of ~37% among the upstream stocks in the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP). One month ago, its ratio was ~42.2%. Three months ago, it was ~38.8%.

California Resources’ short interest-to-equity float ratio fell 4.6% over the last three months. During this period, the stock rose 76.2%. The company’s net debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) ratio is 9.2x. Its cash and cash equivalents were $12 million in 3Q16.

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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 increase a stock’s implied volatility. High short interest in a stock reflects traders’ expectations of downside. Stock prices can move wildly as bulls and bears slug it out.

Synergy Resources

Synergy Resources’ (SYRG) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~29.2%. One month ago, it was 29.1%. Three months ago, it was ~19.5%. Its cash and cash equivalents were $66.5 million in 3Q16. Synergy Resources rose ~40.9% in the past three months. Its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 49.8% during this period.

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Whiting Petroleum

 Whiting Petroleum’s (WLL) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~23.8%. One month ago, it was ~24.8%. Three months ago, it was ~19.5%. Its net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio is 6.8x. Its cash and cash equivalents were $16.1 million in 3Q16. The stock rose 65% in the past three months. Its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 22.1% during the same period. Whiting Petroleum was also among the high implied volatility stocks that we looked at in the previous two parts of this series.

Continental Resources

 Continental Resources’ (CLR) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~23.4%. One month ago, it was ~26.5%. Three months ago, it was 23.5%. Its stock rose ~14% in the last three months. The stock’s short interest-to-equity float ratio fell 0.5% during this period. Its cash and cash equivalents were ~$11.5 million in 3Q16. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio was 4.9x.

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Sanchez Energy

Sanchez Energy’s (SN) short interest-to-equity float ratio is ~19.2%. One month ago, it was ~21.0%. Three months ago, it was ~19.1%. In the past three months, the stock rose 18.3%. In the past three months, Sanchez Energy’s short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 0.2%.

Its net-debt-to-EBITDA ratio was 10x. Its cash and cash equivalents were $435 million in 3Q16.

Other upstream stocks

Kosmos Energy (KOS) and Matador Resources (MTDR) have short interest-to-equity float ratios of ~4% and ~19.1%, respectively.

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