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The Short Report
FNArena News - September 05 2012

By Andrew Nelson

Significant increases in short positions outweighed significant decreases for the week to 29 August, while the total number of short position increases also outpaced decreases. A total of 3 stocks experienced a short position increase of more than 1% over the period, while only one stock enjoyed a decrease greater than 1%.

Allied Gold ((ALD)) finds itself on top of the weekly short increase leader board this week, with total shorts increasing by 1.9 percentage points from 0.91% to 2.81% over the course of the week. Shareholders approved the merger with St Barbara Mines ((SBM)) a few weeks back and High Court approval followed on August 29th.

No prizes for guessing who’s next on the short increase list. Shorts in St Barbara increased by 1.83 percentage points from 1.77% to 3.60% over the period. The stock is Neutrally regarded by brokers in the FNArena database, with a Buy, Hold and Sell call recorded. The company’s in-line FY result was reviewed by all three brokers on the 24th, with Macquarie skeptical about the risk/reward profile of the merger.

JB Hi-Fi ((JBH)) increased its lead at the number one position on the leader board, with short positions rising 1.36 percentage points from 18.91% to 20.27% over the course of the weekly period. Broker’s reviewed the company’s broadly in-line FY report on the 14th of August, although a good number remain skeptical about the prospects for earnings improvement. The stock is negatively regarded by brokers in the FNArena database, with 2 Buys, 3 Neutrals and 3 Sell calls.

As mentioned, only one stock enjoyed a 1%+ decrease in short positions over the weekly period. Shorts in Australian Infrastructure (AIX) pulled back 1.26 percentage points from 3.05% to 2.17%. The FY result posted during the period was viewed positively for the most part, although news that AIX had received a $2bn offer from the Future Fund for all of the group's assets saw both JP Morgan and UBS downgrade the stock to Sell and Neutral respectively on the basis of a good offer price.

Regular Top 10 inclusion Cochlear ((COH)) booked a slightly less significant decrease in its short position over the period. Shorts in the stock pulled back by 0.68 percentage points from 10.61% to 9.93% despite no news or broker commentary over the period. The stock remains negatively reviewed by brokers in the FNArena database, with 4 Neutrals and 4 Sells.

The weekly Top 20 list was little changed, with one stock leaving the list and one stock joining. SingTel ((SGT)) came off the Top 20, giving its number 18 position to Specialty Fashion ((SFH)).

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