September 25, 2007 / 11:16 PM / 10 years ago

Short Stocks: Traders bet against Crocs, Sears

 NEW YORK, Sept 25 (Reuters) - Mid-September short interest on the Nasdaq fell 7.6 percent, the exchange said on Tuesday, as short sellers took advantage of a market decline to close out positions and take profits.
 The following stocks saw increased interest from short sellers, who bet that a stock is overvalued and that its price will fall. The data reflect short trades with a settlement date of Sept. 14.
 For full story please see [ID:nN25420397]  For factbox please see [ID:nN25421429].
 Short interest in the maker of colorful plastic shoes jumped 45 percent from August as the company got a spate of bad publicity from claims its shoes, made with pliable, plastic resin, are prone to catch on escalators and cause injuries.
 Short interest in the stock rose to about 18.6 million shares, or nearly 23 percent of its shares outstanding.
 Short interest in the retailer rose more than 14 percent through mid-September after the company said second-quarter profit fell 40 percent.
 Short positions in the operator of Sears and Kmart stores stood at about 13.7 million shares, approaching 10 percent of its total shares outstanding.
 Short interest in the fitness products company rose more than 20 percent. Citigroup recently cut its investment rating on the stock, saying it could be impacted in the short term by the threat from obesity drug Alli.
 Through mid-September short positions in the stock stood at about 14.2 million shares, or almost 42 percent of NutriSystem’s shares outstanding.
 Short sellers piled into shares of mortgage insurance company, boosting its short interest by more than 50 percent this month.
 The company’s stock price is down about 17 percent since mid-August. In late August the company announced it was borrowing $80 million under a revolving line of credit.
 According to the exchange’s September data, about 5.4 million shares of the stock are held short — about 36 percent of its shares outstanding.
 Short interest in the U.S.-traded shares of the trendy workout retailer rose 27 percent from mid August.
 The company, which made its market debut in late July, delivered a third quarter forecast this month that did not beat market expectations.
 About 2.6 million of the company’s U.S. shares are held short, according to Nasdaq data.
 Short interest rose more than 85 percent in shares of the pet supplies retailer. The company’s chief executive said this month it is still recovering from last spring’s pet food recall and that it will have experienced a sales shortfall by the end of this year of “some tens of millions of dollars.”
 Short interest in the stock was about 9.1 million shares in mid-September, or nearly 7 percent of the company’s shares outstanding.
 (Reporting by Emily Chasan)   

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