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Who’s Shorting COP: Reading the Short Interest in ConocoPhillips’s Stock

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Short interest in COP

On August 14, 2017, ConocoPhillips’s (COP) total shares shorted (or short interest) stood at ~33.4 million, while its average daily volume was ~8.02 million. This means the short interest ratio for COP’s stock was ~4.6x.

COP’s average daily volume is calculated for the short interest reporting period from August 1, 2017, to August 14, 2017.

ConocoPhillips’s short interest ratio has a 52-week low of 1.79x and 52-week high of 4.56x. COP’s short interest as a percentage of its 180-day average volume, 90-day average volume, and 20-day average volume was 4.47x, 4.35x, and 4.87x, respectively, during that period.

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When looked from the perspective of shares outstanding, current short interest in ConocoPhillips’s stock as a percentage of shares outstanding is now ~2.8%. Notably, short interest in ConocoPhillips’s stock as a percentage of shares outstanding is on the lower side when compared with many other stocks from the SPDR S&P Oil and Gas Exploration & Production ETF (XOP).

COP stock as a percentage of shares outstanding has risen from ~1.17% to ~2.75% in 2017, despite the ~12% decline in COP’s stock price during the same period.

Other upstream players

By comparison, oil and gas exploration and production peers California Resources (CRC), W&T Offshore (WTI), and Range Resources (RRC) have short interests as a percentage of their shares outstanding of ~38.9%, ~5.8%, and ~11.2%, respectively. W&T Offshore (WTI) has seen an increase in its short interest over the past month.

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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