Short Stocks: Bets build against Citi, Ericsson, CIT, Xerox
NEW YORK, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Short interest in the Nasdaq and the New York Stock Exchange rose in the first half of October, pointing to increasing bearish sentiment among investors. For details see [ID:nN27119634].
The following list shows stocks that saw increased short-selling or covering and key recent news events for those companies. The data reflect short trades with a settlement date of Oct. 15.
Investors who "short" securities borrow shares and then sell them, waiting for the stock to fall so they can buy the shares at the lower price, return them to the lender and pocket the difference.
For factboxes please see [ID:nN27157014] and [ID:nN26203412].
CITIGROUP INC (C.N)
After having fallen sharply to roughly 118 million shares held short at the end of September from over 645 million at the end of August, short interest in Citi rose more than 50 percent to nearly 178 million shares in early October.
The bank said Oct. 9 it would sell its Phibro energy trading business to Occidental Petroleum Corp (OXY.N), allowing the bank to defuse a battle with regulators over a $100 million pay package for the unit's star trader.
With the move, Citigroup is shedding a business that has generated profit by taking big risk. [ID:nN0930601].
The 178 million shares account for roughly 0.8 percent of the 22.8 billion Citi shares in free float.
LM ERICSSON TEL CO (ERIC.O)
Short interest in New York-traded shares of the Swedish telecommunications company rose 26.7 percent in the first half of October, ahead of an earnings report that saw Ericsson miss forecasts and its share price fell. [ID:nLM420454].
A Reuters poll of 23 analysts published Oct. 7 showed expectations the company would post a pretax loss of 274 million euros.
About 32.7 million of the company's ADRs were held short.
CIT GROUP INC (CIT.N)
Short interest in the company rose 21.4 percent.
CIT launched Oct. 1 a debt-exchange plan in a move aimed at preventing the struggling lender to small and mid-sized companies from filing for bankruptcy.
CIT, however, also asked bondholders to approve a prepackaged plan of reorganization that would allow it to initiate a voluntary filing under Chapter 11 if the debt exchange failed.
About 81 million of the company's shares were held short, more than 20 percent of its free float.
XEROX CORP (XRX.N)
Short interest in the company soared more than 600 percent.
On Sept. 28, Xerox announced plans to buy Affiliated Computer Services Inc (ACS.N) for $5.5 billion to move into the outsourcing business and shares of the printing company plunged on concerns that it was gambling on a major shift in strategy.
Nearly 47.1 million of the company's shares were held short, about 5.5 percent of its free float.
XOMA LTD (XOMA.O)
Short interest in the company fell 54.7 percent.
On Oct. 1, the company announced plans for the Phase 2 clinical development of a drug designed for the treatment of the inflammatory cause of cardiovascular, diabetes, autoimmune and other diseases.
About 8.4 million of the company's shares were held short, nearly 5.1 percent of its free float.
FIDELITY NATIONAL INFORMATION SERVICES INC (FIS.N)
Short interest in the company fell 79 percent in early October.
Shares of the electronic payment processor fell more than 6 percent during the first three trading days of the month, which could have prompted investors to close their short positions ahead of the company's earnings report due Oct. 21.
About 4 million of the company's shares were held short, just above 1 percent of the free float.
(Editing by Andrew Hay)
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