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The Most Shorted Stocks in June: Hold, Short, or Squeeze?

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Short interest is high and rising in many stocks, setting them up for a squeeze given the proper catalyst. The catalyst for a squeeze could be as simple as Meme stock mania and result in quick gains for savvy investors. The question is which meme stocks are ripe for squeezing and how likely a squeeze will happen. While some heavily shorted stocks can defy the odds, most aren’t worth the time it takes to do the due diligence. This is a look at the four most heavily shorted stocks coming into June and whether they are a hold, short, or squeeze. 

Upstart Holdings AI Business Gains Traction: Short

Upstart Holdings (NASDAQ: UPST) is an AI-powered lending platform gaining traction in the US. However, the company’s losses are widening, debt is an issue, and there is fear of accelerating dilution to weigh on the stock price. The share count is up a solid 6.1% at the end of the most recently reported quarter due to share-based compensation, share issuance, and exercised options with the added threat of dilutive offerings to shore up the cash position. With roughly 11% of the authorized shares issued, the opportunity for dilution is profound. 

Short interest in Upstart stock was near 35% at the end of May and is unlikely to have fallen since. The analysts are equally bearish on the stock, with twelve pegging it at Reduce and lowering the targets significantly. The analysts see this stock moving 5% lower at the consensus, and recent targets include a $10 price tag from Wedbush, good for a 50% downside and retest of the all-time low. 

Upstart, UPST stock chart

Kohl’s Corporation is Turning a Corner Despite Headwinds: Hold

Kohl’s Corporation’s (NYSE: KSS) FQ4 results helped increase short interest and the stock price to a long-term low. The short interest at the end of May was above 30%, and it may still be high, but there is risk in the position. The company’s results were tepid, but guidance for this year is stable, suggesting the bearish stance is overplayed. Among the dangers for bulls is the dividend, which, at a 9% yield, raises a red flag. 

The dividend distribution has been running above earnings and is at risk of a cut or suspension. The mitigating factor is that the company has committed to paying dividends and improving the balance sheet and worked hard to improve cash flow and margin over the last year. The guidance for this year is tepid; the payout ratio will likely run above 100%, but the balance sheet is healthy enough to sustain the payout until F2026 when growth is expected to resume and earnings to cover the payment. The analysts rate this stock as a consensus Hold and view it as fairly valued, trading near the consensus estimate at the bottom of the current trading range. 

Kohl's, KSS stock chart

TG Therapeutics Outperforms, Raises Guidance, Analysts Lead Higher: Squeeze

TG Therapeutics (NASDAQ: TGTX) is a biopharma focused on multiple sclerosis and autoimmune diseases. Its latest product, Briumvi for MS, was launched last year and is well-received by the market. The latest earnings report shows sales up more than expected, leading the company to raise guidance and the analysts to raise their targets. 

The six analysts tracked by MarketBeat rate the stock as a consensus Moderate Buy with a price target 85% above the current action. The consensus is near $29, which would be a one-year high; a move above consensus would be bullish and likely lead this market into a complete reversal. Short interest was near 25% at the end of May and is sufficiently high to fuel a short-covering rally if not a short squeeze. 

TG Therapeutics TGTX stock chart

Choice Hotels International is at Rock Bottom: Squeeze

Choice Hotels International (NYSE: CHH) is the 4th most-shorted stock going into June with a short interest of 23.5%. The cause for the bearish attitude is sluggish growth and headwinds in the hotel industry that do little to alter the company’s financial health. Growth is stalled in 2024 but near record levels, with a healthy travel season expected. Among the takeaways for investors is the dividend, worth about 1% with shares near a long-term low, which is healthy, and analysts like this stock. The latest results were mixed relative to the analysts' expectations and led to some lowered price targets, but trading at $115, the stock is near the floor and is forecast to rise to the range's high end, a gain near 12%. 

Choice Hotels, CHH stock chart

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