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Shorting ConocoPhillips: Behind the Rising Short Interest in COP

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Short interest in ConocoPhillips stock

As of May 26, 2017, ConocoPhillips’s (COP) total shares shorted (or short interest) stood at ~21.5 million, as compared to its average daily volume of ~7.1 million. This means that COP’s short interest ratio is ~3.03x. The 52-week range for COP’s short interest ratio is 1.79x–3.03x.

The current short interest in COP stock as a percentage of its shares outstanding is ~1.7%. This figure is on the lower side when compared with all other oil and gas exploration and production companies in the SPDR S&P Oil and Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP).

Notably, since the beginning of 2017, the short interest in ConocoPhillips stock as a percentage of shares outstanding has risen from ~1.2% to ~1.7%, despite the ~5% fall in its stock price.

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Other upstream players

By comparison, upstream peers Devon Energy (DVN), Murphy Oil (MUR), and Occidental Petroleum (OXY) have short interests as a percentage of their shares outstanding of ~1.7%, ~15.3%, and ~1.9% respectively.

Notably, the Direxion Daily Energy Bull 3X ETF (ERX) is a leveraged ETF that invests in domestic companies from the energy sector.

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