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GNC Shorts Get Squeezed

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GNC Shorts Get Squeezed

GNC Holdings Inc (NYSE: GNC) short sellers did not get the news they were hoping for on Tuesday. The company reported a modest earnings beat and a huge revenue beat on EPS of $0.35 and revenue of $644.8 million. Quarterly revenue easily topped consensus analyst expectations of $627.4 million.

GNC Shorts Back In The Headlines

While most stocks would move up on such a solid quarter, GNC shares are spiking 17.6 percent on Tuesday, likely driven by a flood of short sellers exiting their positions. As GNC’s stock has plummeted 74.0 percent in the past year, short interest has skyrocketed more than 574 percent. According to shortsqueeze.com, the stock’s current short percent of float is 43.4 percent. There are currently more than 29 million shares held short with 9.9 days to cover.

GNC’s strong quarterly report comes roughly two months after CEO Robert Moran and chairman of the board Michael Hines both disclosed massive new purchases of company stock. Hines purchased 125,000 shares of GNC stock on February 21 at an average price of $8.17. Moran made two separate purchases on the same date: a 58,083-share purchase at $8.00 and a huge 534,176-share purchase at $8.49.

GNC has been the subject of at least two buyout rumors in recent months as well, another potential danger to short sellers. In February, Benzinga reported that a GNC insider was pushing for a merger with Vitamin Shoppe Inc (NYSE: VSI). Last month, GNC stock jumped on rumors JD.Com Inc(ADR) (NASDAQ: JD) could be looking to acquire a nutrition retailer.

Despite the huge move on Tuesday, long-time GNC shorts are likely still ahead on their trades. GNC stock is now down 81.1 percent in the past three years.

Related Links:

GNC's CEO And Chairman Both Just Bought A Bunch Of Stock

Unconfirmed Buyout Rumors Have GNC Shorts Nervous
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Posted-In: Michael Hines Robert Moran Short SqueezeEarnings News Short Sellers Media Trading Ideas Best of Benzinga

 

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