Crypto Stocks MicroStrategy, Marathon Digital Among Most Heavily Shorted Application Software Stocks

Zinger Key Points
  • Crypto stock short sellers have made a killing during 2022's crypto winter.
  • Crypto stocks remain among the most heavily shorted stocks in the application software group.

Cryptocurrency stocks have taken quite a hit so far in 2022 as investors have rotated out of risk assets as interest rates rise.

Crypto stock short sellers have done fairly well so far this year, but a new report by S3 Partners analyst Ihor Dusaniwsky suggested short sellers expect more weakness ahead for crypto stocks.

The Numbers: Dusaniwsky said Thursday that short interest among application software stocks decreased by $41.5 billion in August and now stands at $958.7 billion overall. But while short sellers have been reducing their exposure to application software stocks overall, three out of the top five application software stocks with the highest short interest based on short percent of float are crypto stocks MicroStrategy Incorporated MSTR, Marathon Digital Holdings Inc MARA and Riot Blockchain Inc RIOT.

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According to S3's adjusted short numbers, 33% of MicroStrategy's float is currently held in short positions, making it the most heavily shorted stock in the group. In addition, 24% of Marathon Digital's float is held in short positions, while short positions represent 19.2% of Riot's float.

S3 also said MicroStrategy is the most crowded short in the application software group with an S3 Crowded Score of 85. Marathon Digital is the third most crowded with a score of 72.5.

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Benzinga reported on MicroStrategy's extremely high short interest on Aug. 2, but the stock has been pressured in the past month as Bitcoin BTC/USD prices briefly dropped back below $20,000. Bitcoin prices rallied more than 10% to above $21,000 on Friday despite an increasing likelihood of a third consecutive 0.75% Federal Reserve interest rate hike later this month.

Benzinga's Take: As of Thursday, none of the three crypto stocks were among the top five most squeezable application software stocks based on S3's Squeeze Score. But if Friday's big crypto rally continues into next week, it may begin to apply pressure to heavily shorted crypto stocks and put a major crypto stock short squeeze on the table in the near future.

Photo: iQoncept via Shutterstock

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Posted In: Analyst ColorCryptocurrencyShort IdeasSmall CapMarketsAnalyst RatingsTrading IdeasIhor DusaniwskyS3 Partners
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