Shares of QuantumScape (NYSE:QS) stock are surging higher on no company-specific news. A scan of the company’s recent Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filings shows sales by insiders in order to cover tax obligations from restricted stock units (RSU), which don’t quite explain today’s gain.
However, taking a look at short interest provides more context. As of April 30, there were 58.16 million shares sold short, with a total value of $407.12 million. That’s equivalent to a short interest as a percentage of the float of 21.76%, which is high enough to cause a significant short squeeze. Generally, a short interest above 10% is perceived as high, while a short interest above 20% is considered very high.
QuantumScape is one of the most talked about solid-state battery (SSB) companies, although much like its competitors, it has not yet brought a product to market. During the first quarter, QuantumScape reported zero dollars of revenue and warned that:
“As a result of the capital-intensive nature of our business, we can be expected to continue to sustain substantial operating expenses without generating sufficient revenues to cover expenditures.”
On the bright side, QuantumScape has already engaged in customer prototype testing. In its Q1 shareholder letter, it announced that testing of its 24-layer A0 prototype cells at one automotive customer was successfully completed and in line with previous estimates.
5 Investors Betting Big on QS Stock
Tracking institutional ownership is important, as these large investors provide liquidity and support for stocks. During Q1, 303 13F filers disclosed a stake in QS, a decline of 29 filers from the prior quarter. In total, these filers own 113.81 million shares of QuantumScape, down from 126.33 million shares quarter-over-quarter. Of the 303 13F filers, four of them own QS in their top 10 positions.
Meanwhile, the institutional put/call ratio tallied in at 0.94 as of Q1. That’s equivalent to 7.88 million puts and 8.40 million calls, implying a slightly bullish options stance. With that in mind, let’s take a look at QuantumScape’s top shareholders:
- Khosla Ventures: 24.82 million shares. Khosla’s stake is accurate as of Q4. During then, it reported selling 10.61 million shares.
- Vanguard Group: 21.98 million shares. Vanguard acquired 390,747 shares during Q1.
- Capricorn Investment Group: 14.79 million shares. Capricorn’s stake remained unchanged during Q1.
- BlackRock (NYSE:BLK): 11.88 million shares. BlackRock acquired 533,337 shares during Q1.
- BNP Paribas Asset Management: 6.27 million shares. BNP acquired 856,096 shares during Q1.
On the date of publication, Eddie Pan did not hold (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article. The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.com Publishing Guidelines.