Stock gain in past year: 238%
Change in shares shorted: -62%
Change in shares days to cover: -60%
It’s easy to understand why shorts went shopping for SuperValu (SVU), considering it’s an also-ran in a competitive, low-margin industry and that earnings have fallen by 33% per year over the last half-decade.
But while SVU stock remains far off its heyday, shares have posted a monster comeback in the past year or so, causing the shorts no small amount of pain.
As of last October, it would have taken 19 days for short sellers to cover their positions; that number is now down to seven. That’s because one-third as many shares are sold short — still 17% of the float, but a significant drop from 40% of last October.
The remaining shorts were likely celebrating Friday as SVU suffered an 8% post-earnings slide. But that’s a small victory considering the yearlong SuperValu rally sparked by the company selling off chains and paying off debt, not to mention M&A rumors.
As of this writing, Alyssa Oursler did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities.