Short Sellers Falling In and Out of Love With Electric Vehicle Makers

Short interest moves among automakers’ stocks were evenly split during the two-week reporting period that ended on October 15.  Of the companies we watch, short interest increased on three of six electric vehicle (EV) makers and on one of the traditional carmakers.

Tesla Inc. (NYSE: TSLA) short sellers decreased their positions by 7% during the two-week period to 53 million shares, about 7.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by 4.6%. Its 52-week range is $61.85 to $502.49 (split-adjusted), and it closed at $420.28 on Monday, essentially flat for the day.

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) short interest rose by 5.6% in the two weeks to October 15. About 38 million shares were short, representing 28.1% of the company’s total float. Days to cover rose from one to two, and the share price rose by nearly 14% during the reporting period. The stock’s post-IPO range is $10.27 to $93.99, and shares closed down 7.2% on Monday, at $20.91.

Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) saw short interest fall by 10% to 60.9 million American depositary shares (ADSs). Days to cover remained at one, and 5.7% of the company’s float was short. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $1.36 to $22.59, and shares closed Monday at $26.01, down about 4.2% for the day. The stock jumped by nearly 33% during the two-week reporting period.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) short sellers added 19% to their positions in the two-week reporting period. Some 27.2 million shares were short, or about 26.7% of the company’s total float. The share price tumbled by nearly 12% in the two-week period, and the stock closed at $18.53 on Monday, down almost 9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.32 to $30.99. Days to cover increased from one to two. The announcement Monday of more competition with a new semi from Triton Solar weighed on both Nikola and Workhorse.

Li Auto Inc.’s (NASDAQ: LI) short interest plunged by more than 22% in the two-week period. About 8.9 million ADSs were short, representing about 14.4% of the China-based company’s total float. Days to cover fell from three to one, and the share price jumped by nearly 18% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $24.48, and shares closed at $19.08 on Monday, up about 3.7% for the day.

Xpeng Inc.’s (NYSE: XPEV) short interest increased by 4.7% to 9.6 million ADSs in the short interest reporting period. Shares rose by more than 10% in the two weeks and closed down about 2.1% at $19.62 on Monday, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $25.00. Days to cover remained at one.

General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM) short interest rose by 6% in the reporting period ended October 15. About 21 million GM shares were short, or about 1.6% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. Shares rose by around 10% in the two-week period and closed Monday at $35.82, down about 2.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $14.33 to $38.96.

Ford Motor Co. (NYSE: F) short interest dipped by 2% to 94.1 million shares, or about 2.4% of the total float. Days to cover remained at two. The stock price increased by 14.4% in the two-week reporting period, and shares closed at $8.03 on Monday, down by about 1.6% for the day. The stock’s 52-week range is $3.96 to $9.57.

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