Harvey Norman (HVN) has come under the spotlight this week, with short positions in the stock more than doubling.
Traders short stocks when they think the price is going to fall. It involves borrowing the stock and selling it, with the aim being to buy it back at a lower price, keeping the profit.
This chart shows the increase in short positions on Harvey Norman.
Up to mid-March, HVN short volumes had remained consistent in 2017 at about 3.5% of shares outstanding, ASIC data shows.
Short positions surged in the stock from the week ending March 17 and intra-day volumes spiked from 3.63% to 4.89%.
The proportion of the stock in short positions rose throughout the following week, reaching 8.03% of outstanding shares last Friday.
Billionaire Gerry Harvey has bought about $18 million worth of HVN stock last week and a further $9 million worth of shares on Wednesday.
Harvey has attacked short sellers, claiming they manipulate the price of shares they target and calling them “criminals”, in comments reported in The Australian.
The retail industry is in for a shake-up over the coming years as Amazon prepares to enter the market.
Harvey Norman shares were up 1.9% at $4.55 at 11:30am (AEDT) today. Here’s the price chart: