At the start of each week I like to look at ASIC’s short position report to find out which shares are being targeted by short sellers.
This is because I believe it is well worth keeping a close eye on short interest levels as high levels can sometimes be a sign that something isn’t quite right with a company.
With that in mind, here are the 10 most shorted shares on the ASX this week according to ASIC:
- Webjet Limited (ASX: WEB) continues to be the most shorted share on the ASX after its short interest increased to 14.9%. There are concerns that the travel market could take longer than expected to recover from the pandemic. This could weigh on Webjet’s short term earnings.
- Tassal Group Limited (ASX: TGR) has seen its short interest rise once again to 12.1%. Short sellers have been targeting the salmon producer amid speculation China could put tariffs on seafood like it did with wine.
- Mesoblast limited (ASX: MSB) has seen its short interest increase to 9.9%. Short sellers will have been disappointed to see this biotech company’s shares rise strongly last week after finally releasing some positive news.
- Speedcast International Ltd (ASX: SDA) still has short interest of 9.3%. The communications satellite technology provider’s shares have been suspended for around one year as it undertakes a recapitalisation.
- Inghams Group Ltd (ASX: ING) has 8.4% of its shares held short, which is down slightly week on week. This poultry producer was a very poor performer in FY 2020 due to rising input costs and an unfavourable sales mix caused by COVID-19. While it has reported an improvement early in FY 2021, short sellers aren’t giving up just yet.
- InvoCare Limited (ASX: IVC) has short interest of 8.2%, which is flat week on week. Short sellers have been going after this funerals company amid concerns it is struggling because of the pandemic and losing market share to its rivals.
- A2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) has seen its short interest remain flat at 8%. The a2 Milk share price has fallen heavily over the last few months after it reported material weakness in the daigou channel. Short sellers don’t appear to believe this will be a quick fix and may be expecting the weakness to persist into FY 2022.
- Myer Holdings Ltd (ASX: MYR) has seen its short interest ease again to 7.8%. Short sellers aren’t giving up on the department store operator despite its shares rising over 50% during the last six months. They may believe that Myer and department stores in general are in a structural decline.
- AVITA Medical Inc (ASX: AVH) is back in the top ten with short interest of 7.7%. A disappointing performance so far in FY 2020 has been weighing heavily on this medical device company’s shares. Though, it is worth noting that its performance has improved greatly early in FY 2021.
- Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT) has seen its short interest fall to 7.6%. As with Webjet, there are fears that the travel market rebound could take longer than hoped and lead to a greater than expected overall cash burn.
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James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia's parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of Avita Medical Limited. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended A2 Milk and Webjet Ltd. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended Avita Medical Limited, Flight Centre Travel Group Limited, and InvoCare Limited. 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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