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Short Sellers and ConocoPhillips’s Rally since August 2017

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Short interest in ConocoPhillips stock

As of January 12, 2018, ConocoPhillips’s (COP) total shares shorted (or short interest) were ~24.6 million. Its average daily volume was ~5.6 million. That means the short interest ratio for COP stock is ~4.4x. In October 2017, the short interest ratio for COP stock had a 52-week high of 5.59x. ConocoPhillips’s short interest ratio has a 52-week low of 1.79x, which occurred in March 2017. COP stock’s average daily volume is calculated for the short interest reporting period from January 2, 2018, to January 12, 2018.

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When compared with shares outstanding, the current short interest in COP stock as a percentage of total shares outstanding is ~2.1%. Since the start of COP’s stock rally in mid-August 2017, short interest in COP stock as a percentage of shares outstanding has fallen from ~2.8% to ~2.1% in five months. During that period, COP stock has risen ~35%. Thus, short sellers have reduced their short interest in COP stock since the stock price increased, which could mean that they believe the COP stock rally won’t be short-lived and the stock could go higher. To know more about COP stock’s recent price performance, refer to Part 1 of this series.

Other oil and gas producers

As of January 12, 2018, oil and gas exploration and production companies California Resources (CRC), Murphy Oil (MUR), and Marathon Oil (MRO) have short interests of ~10.2 million, ~28 million, and ~19.8 million, respectively.

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