The Short Report

Weekly Reports | Mar 01 2018


The Short Report draws upon data provided by the Australian Securities & Investment Commission (ASIC) to highlight significant weekly moves in short positions registered on stocks listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX). Short positions in exchange-traded funds (ETF) and non-ordinary shares are not included. Short positions below 5% are not included in the table below but may be noted in the accompanying text if deemed significant.

Please take note of the Important Information provided at the end of this report. Percentage amounts in this report refer to percentage of ordinary shares on issue.

Stock codes highlighted in green have seen their short positions reduce in the week by an amount sufficient to move them into a lower percentage bracket. Stocks highlighted in red have seen their short positions increase in the week by an amount sufficient to move them into a higher percentage bracket. Moves in excess of one percentage point or more are discussed in the Movers & Shakers report below.


Week ending February 22, 2018

Last week saw the ASX200 rally steadily to the 5950 level. Over the same period, Wall Street struggled but held its ground, providing the local market with sufficient confidence to focus on the earnings result season.

Strength in the index over the period is almost entirely due to a positive results season, the busiest week of which was last week, with the beat/miss ratio running near the top end of the range over the last five years. Resultant broker upgrades have also well exceed downgrades, and the combination of the two is rare.

A slew of strong results nevertheless did little to spark short traders into action. A glance at the table below shows short position increases/decreases were very few and far between. Only two stocks are worth highlighting.

Myer ((MYR)) did not report earnings but provided a trading update nonetheless, which suggests either something must change soon or the department store chain is not long for this world. Shorts in Myer only increased slightly, but it was enough to put the stock back into its very familiar 10%+ shorted position.

Those recalling the David Jones takeover of some years ago might assume the same could happen to Myer, and indeed there is an anchor position in the stock by virtue of Solly Lew’s Premier Investments ((PMV)), which has a 10.8% stake and a very irate chairman.

The difference between David Jones and Myer, however, is that DJs owned its stores and Myer rents, meaning DJs always had a base property valuation and Myer doesn’t.

The other short position move of note last week came from toiletries and cosmetics company BWX Ltd ((BWX)), which saw its share price plunge -20% on its result release. BWX has been on a bit of an acquisition spree in the US, and clearly it is struggling to bed those down.

But the stock had rallied 74% over twelve months on sheer investor exuberance, taking it to a PE multiple suggesting excessive over-valuation. Either way, BWX has jumped into the table below at 6.3% shorted from below 5% shorted prior.

That about sums it up so no Movers & Shakers this week.

Weekly short positions as a percentage of market cap:


SYR    21.8
IGO     17.1
DMP   15.9
JBH     15.8
HSO    14.2
RFG    13.7
GXY   13.1
HT1     11.7
VOC   11.4
MYX   10.8
FLT     10.8
MYR   10.2

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