Short Interest On The Rise In Akamai Technologies And Juniper Networks
- Short interest moves in many of the leading cybersecurity stocks were mixed in the most recent period.
- Short sellers were particularly keen on two of them in those two weeks.
- Shares of both stocks slumped more than 7 percent during the period.
While short interest moves in the leading cybersecurity related stocks between the March 31 and April 15 settlement dates were mixed overall, the strongest moves were to the upside.
Akamai Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKAM) and Juniper Networks, Inc. (NYSE: JNPR) in particular saw double-digit percentage increases in the number of their shares short, a period in which the latter slashed its guidance, and ahead of what is expected to be a weak quarterly report from the former.
Others that saw more modest rises in short interest include Fortinet and Palo Alto Networks, while the number of shares short in Check Point Software Technologies and LifeLock hardly changed at all between the settlement dates. The first two weeks of the month brought shrinking numbers of shares short at Barracuda Networks, CyberArk Software, FireEye, Imperva, Proofpoint and Symantec.
Here we take a quick look at how Akamai Technologies and Juniper Networks have fared recently and what analysts expect from them.
This Cambridge, Massachusetts-based cloud services company saw its short interest jump more than 16 percent to nearly 11.44 million shares, or 6.6 percent of float, in the first weeks of the month. That was the highest number of its shares short year-to-date. As in the previous period, it would take about six days to cover all short positions.
The first quarter results are expected to reflect weakness in the industry. Short sellers watched the shares fall more than 8 percent during the two-week short interest period, compared to a gain of less than 2 percent in the Nasdaq. But note that the stock has regained much of that ground since then.
The number of shares sold short in this Sunnyvale, California-based network products and services provider grew about 18 percent during the two weeks to around 11.94 million. That was 3.2 percent of the total float. At the current average daily volume, it would take about two days to cover all short positions.
Shares fell more than 7 percent in the two-week period, most of that retreat after Juniper slashed sales and earnings guidance, citing weak enterprise demand. The S&P 500 gained about 1 percent in that time. The stock fell further afterward but has started to recover somewhat in the past week.
Disclosure: At the time of this writing, the author had no position in the mentioned equities.
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