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Utility Stocks with the Highest Short Interest

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NRG Energy

On January 18, 2017, NRG Energy (NRG) had a short interest-to-equity float ratio of 6.7%. It was the highest among the utility stocks that make up the Utilities Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLU).

In the past three months, NRG Energy rose 30.4%, the most among utility stocks with the highest short interest, as shown in the above table. NRG’s short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 31.5% in the last three months. Refer to Part 2 of this series for a look at NRG’s revenue and operating income trend.

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NRG Energy is also the utility stock with the highest implied volatility. Its high short interest could explain why it has one of the highest implied volatilities in the utilities (XLU) sector. High short interest in a stock reflects the market’s expectations of a large fall. It can cause the implied volatility to rise.

Scana

Scana’s (SCG) short interest-to-equity float ratio is 3.9%. In the last three months, the stock rose 2.5%, while its short interest-to-equity float ratio fell 7.3%. Its net debt-to-EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization) ratio is 4.9x.

In the last four quarters, Scana’s revenue rose 2.3%, while its operating profit rose 19.2%. Its operating profit margin is 27.0% compared to the industry median of 19.9%.

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WEC Energy

WEC Energy’s (WEC) short interest-to-equity float ratio is 3.9%. In the last three months, the stock rose 1.9%, while its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 12.8%. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is 4.0x.

In the last four quarters, WEC’s revenue rose 0.80%, while its operating profit rose 15.4%. Its operating profit margin is 23.1% compared to the industry median of 19.9%.

NiSource

NiSource’s (NI) short interest-to-equity float ratio is 3.8%. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is 5.6x. In the last three months, the stock fell 2.3%, while its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 4.7%.

In the last four quarters, NiSource’s revenue rose 5.4%, while its operating profit rose 3.6%. Its operating profit margin is 19.9% compared to the industry median of 19.9%.

Consolidated Edison

Consolidated Edison’s (ED) short interest-to-equity float ratio is 3.3%. Its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio is 4.1x. The stock rose 1.6% in the last three months, while its short interest-to-equity float ratio rose 7.7%.

In the last four quarters, Consolidated Edison’s revenue fell 7.5%, while its operating profit rose 13.3%. Its operating profit margin is 19.8% compared to the industry median of 19.9%.

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