Who’s Shorting WLL? Gauging the Short Interest in Whiting Petroleum Stock



Short interest

On December 6, 2017, the short interest ratio (or short interest as a percentage of float) for Whiting Petroleum (WLL) stock was ~19.4%. By comparison, the short interest ratio in WLL stock was ~3.14% in January 2017, as you can see in the chart below.

The recent jump we’re seeing in the short interest in WLL is likely due to the negative market reaction after WLL’s announcement of another reverse stock split. Remember, an increase in short interest indicates an increase in bearish sentiment toward a stock.

As we saw in the first part of this series, WLL recently announced a one-for-four reverse stock split. The total number of common shares authorized for this issue was reduced to 225 million shares from 600 million shares.

Peer comparisons

By comparison, as of December 6, 2017, Newfield Exploration’s (NFX) short interest ratio was ~4%, while Cimarex Energy (XEC), and Concho Resources (CXO) had short interest ratios of ~2.7% and ~4.1%, respectively, as of the same day.

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