Short Sellers Mostly Retreat on Tesla, Other EV Makers

Short interest moves among automakers’ stocks were mostly lower during the two-week reporting period that ended on January 29. Of the companies we watch, short interest decreased on four of six electric vehicle (EV) makers and rose on one of the traditional carmakers.

Tesla Inc.’s (NYSE: TSLA) short interest fell by 7% for the latest two-week period. Short sellers hold 52.4 million shares of Tesla stock. Days to cover remained at two, and the share price decreased by about 4% during the period. The stock’s 52-week range is $70.10 to $900.40 (split-adjusted), and it closed at $849.466 on Tuesday. Shares were down by less than 1% in early trading Wednesday.

Nikola Corp. (NASDAQ: NKLA) had its short interest plunge by 27% in the two weeks to January 29. About 38.5 million shares were short, representing about 26% of the company’s total float. Days to cover fell from three to two. Nikola’s share price soared by about 45% during the reporting period, before pulling back to post a gain of 17%. The stock’s post-IPO range is $10.34 to $93.99, and shares closed at $22.90 on Tuesday and traded up by less than 1% Wednesday morning at $23.07.

Nio Ltd. (NYSE: NIO) short interest dived by 23% in the latter half of January. Days to cover remained at one. The stock’s 52-week range is $2.11 to $66.99, and shares closed Tuesday at $63.92. The stock traded up by about 1.7% Wednesday morning, after gaining 1.3% during the two-week reporting period.

Workhorse Group Inc. (NASDAQ: WKHS) saw its short interest drop by 23% in the two-week period. Some 25.8 million shares were short, about 23.5% of the total float. The share price soared by 47% in the period, and the stock closed at $40.19 on Tuesday. It traded up by less than 1% Wednesday morning. The 52-week trading range is $1.32 to $42.96.

Li Auto Inc. (NASDAQ: LI) short interest jumped by 43% in the latest period. About 21.8 million American depositary shares were short, representing about 3% of the China-based company’s total float. The share price slipped by about 1.1% in the period. The post-IPO range is $14.31 to $47.70, and shares closed at $31.87 on Wednesday. The stock traded up about 1% Thursday morning.

Xpeng Inc.’s (NYSE: XPEV) short interest totaled 23.9 million shares, up about 12% in the two-week reporting period. Short sellers hold about 5% of the company’s total float. Shares rose by less than 1% in the two weeks and closed at $48.75 on Tuesday, in a post-IPO range of $17.11 to $74.49. The stock traded down by about 2% Thursday morning.

At General Motors Co. (NYSE: GM), short interest decreased by 5% in the period ended January 29. About 17.8 million GM shares were short, or about 1.3% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at one. Shares added about 1.4% in those two weeks, and they closed Tuesday at $565.06. The 52-week range is $14.33 to $57.05, and shares traded down more than 4% Wednesday morning.

Ford Motor Co.’s (NYSE: F) short interest decreased by 19% to 76.1 million shares. That was about 2% of the total float. Days to cover slipped from two to one. The stock price rose by more than 7% in the two-week period, and shares closed at $11.93 on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $3.96 to $12.15. They traded down by about 1.3% Thursday morning.

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