Although the general rule of thumb is to avoid equities with heavy short interest, the new normal has brought with it new paradigms. One of these fresh approaches urges speculators to acquire short-squeeze stocks in an effort to move the equities higher, forcing the bears to cover their short positions.
Of course, short covering raises the prices of the affected securities, ultimately creating a bullish bonanza.
Throughout this list of short-squeeze stocks, I will refer to two concepts. The first is short interest, which is the “total number of shares of a particular stock that have been sold short by investors but have not yet been covered or closed out.”
The second concept is short interest ratio (or days to cover). This metric “indicates how many days it would take for all the shares short to be covered or repurchased in the open market.”
When it comes to wagering on short-squeeze stocks, both elements are important. You want to clamp down on bears in both areas; that way, they can’t run and they can’t easily sneak away.
However, this arena is truly risky. If you can handle it, here are seven short-squeeze stocks to consider.
Tattooed Chef (TTCF)
If you’ve followed the original meme stocks whose huge gains were fueled by short squeezes, you’ll know that there is an element of revenge involved with them. That is, in many cases, the participants in this risky endeavor are young investors who saw their parents lose everything during the Great Recession. Short squeezes are a means of punishing (in their view) the hedge funds that got away with financial murder back then.
A similar narrative may be bolstering the contrarian case for Tattooed Chef (NASDAQ:TTCF). Millennials and Generation Z have embraced the burgeoning plant-based foods industry in which Tattooed Chef specializes. Naturally, plant-based products align well with other core issues embraced by those generations, such as health, sustainability and animal welfare. In this context, it’s not terribly surprising that Tattooed Chef has become a short-squeeze stocks.
Based on data complied by Benzinga.com, the short interest of TTCF stock is nearly 30%, while its short ratio, also called the days to cover, is almost 29. Over the five days that ended on Aug. 5, the shares were up nearly 22%.
Stoke Therapeutics (STOK)
One of the most fascinating biotechnology firms, Stoke Therapeutics (NASDAQ:STOK) specializes in leveraging RNA biology to perform an unprecedented feat. Specifically, the company raises “protein output from healthy genes using an RNA-based approach.” Essentially, the firm seeks to develop advanced methodologies that will increase the protein output of healthy genes to compensate for non-functioning genes.
Naturally, Stoke’s innovations – if it continues to make encouraging clinical progress – could have profound implications for a range of diseases and conditions that are currently untreatable. Not surprisingly, young bulls may be outraged that anyone dares to place negative bets on STOK stock, making it a good short-squeeze stock for speculators to consider.
At the time of writing, Stoke had a short interest of almost 30%, while its days to cover were slightly above 20. While the stock is down 27% in 2022, the shares are up nearly 45% over the last five days. Therefore, gamblers may want to keep close tabs on this high-flying biotech.
Sana Biotechnology (SANA)
Another innovative biotech firm, Sana Biotechnology (NASDAQ:SANA) is focused on repairing and controlling genes in cells and replacing missing or damaged cells to solve the underlying cause of many diseases. Leveraging the best in advanced technologies, Sana aims to improve health outcomes for patients.
Indeed, its cell-engineering discoveries may have profound implications for currently untreatable conditions, along with myriad other diseases that can be addressed with far more effective and efficient drugs than the ones used today. Again, the potential of Sana Biotechnology to meaningfully change people’s lives has likely inspired young investors to hold the line against the bears.
Sana’s short interest is 28.3%, while its days to cover is 14. Usually, double digits in either short interest or short-interest ratio indicates that there is significant bearishness towards the stock. The fact that both metrics are in the double digits suggests that it will be very difficult for the bears to escape the bulls’ wrath.
Specializing in lidar — light detection and ranging — technologies, MicroVision (NASDAQ:MVIS) seeks to enhance the safety and automation initiatives of transportation firms. Fundamentally, the company appeals to speculators who want to get in on the ground floor of what may be the “next big thing.”
According to Grand View Research, the lidar market is currently worth $2.23 billion. Experts in the field believe that the segment will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9.8% through 2030,. At that point, the industry’s annual revenue is expected to reach $4.7 billion.
To be fair, lidar has been a rough business, not just for MicroVision, but for its many rivals. Still, MicroVision is one of the more exciting short-squeeze stocks for speculators to consider. It has a whopping short interest of 42%. That’s up significantly from its prior short interest of 25.4%. Also, 14.5 days are required to cover a short position in MVIS stock, and that is substantial.
At first glance, WeWork’s (NYSE:WE) business model might appear to be old-fashioned. Setting aside the myriad controversies that the company incurred to become a publicly traded corporation, WeWork must contend with changes in the white-collar labor market. Nevertheless, the firm may be interesting to those who are seeking short-squeeze stocks to buy.
First, WeWork like many other tech firms, is pivoting to software by selling apps, data tools and other programs to landlords and office tenants. Many of those people, of course, are attempting to navigate the working-from-home trend that the coronavirus pandemic imposed on everyone.
Secondly, WeWork recently delivered some interesting Q2 results. Though the company posted a net loss, it reported that its memberships grew 33% while its occupancy rate climbed to 72%. Perhaps WeWork is becoming relevant.
One thing is for certain: the firm is a short-squeeze stocks, with the short interest in the name hitting nearly 38%, while its days to cover is 12.3.
Insurance technology firm Lemonade (NYSE:LMND) started off as a bright idea: it wanted to revolutionize the staid insurance industry by incorporating artificial intelligence and a superior user experience, utilizing a convenient mobile app. Running through a few tabs, people can get insurance coverage within minutes. Further, Lemonade expanded its offerings to include apartment rentals, homeowners and car insurance, among other types of insurance.
Still, LMND stock suffered, largely because the company lacked financial discipline. As a result, between its first session in the public market and Aug. 5, the shares plunged more than 65%. Today, however, they’re rallying 15%, driven by the company’s higher-than-expected Q2 revenue. It’s quite possible that Lemonade is one of the best short-squeeze stocks to consider.
Fundamentally, rising demand for apartments in hundreds of cities across the U.S. strongly indicate that Lemonade has a large total addressable market. Further, the convenience that it offers should appeal to millennials.
As well, the name’s short interest reached 33.2%, while its days to cover is quite high at 11.3.
Focusing on cosmetic surgical procedures involving augmentation (you can look up the company to understand what I mean) Sientra (NASDAQ:SIEN) was just a few days ago literally a penny stock. At $1.39 a pop today, SIEN still meets the criteria to be labeled as such. However, if you’re thinking about this idea, you may want to act quickly.
In the last month, SIEN stock jumped 42%. However, with the stock down 67% so far this year, the name can still reward speculators who buy its stock now.
While some might consider the plastic surgery industry to be frivolous, the reality is that the Covid-19 crisis has imparted some benefits to cosmetic procedures. According to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, pent-up demand stemming from the pandemic has created a boon for elective surgeries that are focused on improving individuals’ outward appearance.
Whatever you think about this arena, Sientra is an interesting idea for those seeking short-squeeze stocks. Its short interest is 23% while its days to cover comes in at 17.3
On the date of publication, Josh Enomoto did not have (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.