- Tesla’s stock has become the most-shorted in the US again, data from financial-analytics firm S3 Partners show.
- Short interest in Tesla swelled to $US14.5 billion as of Wednesday, taking the top spot from Apple, which had short interest of $US14.3 billion, according to S3 data.
- Tesla has been the top shorted stock before, even though it’s about 14 times smaller than Apple.
- Watch Tesla trade live on Markets Insider.
As Tesla’s stock price continues to rise, short-sellers are turning up the heat.
As of Wednesday, Tesla’s short interest, or dollar amount of shares borrowed to bet against, swelled to roughly $US14.5 billion, eclipsing Apple’s $US14.3 billion in short interest, data from financial-analytics firm S3 Partners show. That means that the automaker is the most-shorted stock in the US, according to S3 data.
Tesla’s market capitalisation is about 14 times smaller than Apple’s. Still, the Elon Musk-led automaker has been the most-shorted US stock before. Apple overtook its position at the top of the US shorts list in September, S3 data show, and held the title until this week.
Traders betting against Tesla have had a rough start to 2020. Shares of the automaker have surged 28% through Wednesday’s close, inflicting pain on short-sellers. On Monday, shorts lost $US1.25 billion in one day as Tesla surged nearly 10%, according to S3 data.
That brought yearly losses for 2020 to $US2.8 billion mark-to-market, nearly as much as short-sellers lost for the entire year in 2019, S3 data show. Still, Tesla shorts are holding onto their positions, betting that after the stock’s rapid rally, it will come back down.
Tesla’s stock has doubled since October, when it reported a surprise return to profitability in its third-quarter earnings report. It’s continued to rally after positive vehicle delivery numbers in 2019, and optimism around its Gigafactory in Shanghai.
Apple has also been on a tear, gaining about 20% from early December through Wednesday’s close. In 2020, the stock has gained roughly 6% through Wednesday’s close, while the S&P 500 has advanced less than 1.8%.