Are the 10 most shorted ASX shares in your portfolio?

At the start of each week I like to take a look at the most recent data provided by ASIC to see which ASX shares are currently being targeted by short sellers.

Although short sellers often get it wrong, I believe investors should pay close attention to increasing short interest as it could be seen as an early warning sign of a share price decline.

Here are the 10 most shorted shares on the ASX this week:

  • Orocobre Limited (ASX: ORE) remains the most shorted share on the ASX with 20% of its shares now held short. Short sellers have targeted the lithium miner since it made a significant cut to its annual production guidance.
  • Aconex Ltd (ASX: ACX) has seen short interest fall slightly to 16.1%. Despite the software-as-a-service company’s shares falling sharply this year, some short sellers appear to think they could go lower still.
  • Syrah Resources Ltd (ASX: SYR) has short interest of 16%. Although the graphite producer recently announced that the commissioning of its Balama graphite project was on schedule, short sellers continue to target the mining company.
  • Western Areas Ltd (ASX: WSA) has seen its short interest fall to 15.9%. Nickel futures have fallen 15% since early March, weighing heavily on its share price and investor sentiment.
  • Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) has 13% of its shares held short. Speculation of a takeover offer from Premier Investments Limited (ASX: PMV) appears to have scared off many short sellers recently.
  • Quintis Ltd (ASX: QIN) has 11.7% of its shares held short. The sandalwood plantation manager has recently been targeted by U.S. short sellers Glaucus Research. The research firm alleged that the Quintis business model was a Ponzi scheme.
  • Vocus Group Ltd (ASX: VOC) has seen short interest rise slightly to 11.6%. Whilst I think Vocus will prove to be an excellent long-term investment, this high level of short interest is a worry.
  • Nine Entertainment Co Holdings Ltd (ASX: NEC) has 10.9% of its shares held short, down slightly from last week. Despite the high level of short interest the media company’s shares have been among the best performers this year with an 18% gain.
  • Domino’s Pizza Enterprises Ltd (ASX: DMP) has 10.5% of its shares held short. Short sellers may be targeting the pizza chain operator following allegations that franchisees are mistreating and underpaying employees.
  • Mayne Pharma Group Ltd (ASX: MYX) has short interest of 10.2%. Allegations of price-fixing and concerns over the impact President Trump will have on the pharmaceutical industry have weighed heavily on its shares recently.

If you're concerned about shares with high short interest then look at an investment in one of these incredible growth shares. High growth potential and low short interest make them great options in my opinion.

Top 3 ASX Blue Chips To Buy In 2017

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of ACONEX FPO. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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