Wednesday, 10 May 2017

Fund Buying And Short Interest Will Lead To A Massive Squeeze on AAOI

Over the weekend we recommended a buy on Applied Optoelectronics (AAOI), giving eight reasons to invest in the stock. AAOI has gained $9 in three days since our buy recommendation and sits at around $65 now. Is it too late for investors to join the party? We think not. The stock might go parabolic to $80 to $100 soon on a very heavy short squeeze.

Review reason #6 on our list of reasons to buy - short interest. Recent updates show that the short interest is even higher now:

Short interest at the end of April was 6.38 million, up 1.71 million from 4.67 million two weeks prior. Yahoo Finance has updated the float to be 16.83 million, so short interest is up to 38% of the float. Here is the kicker, a 13G was filed on May 9th that shows as of April 30th, Blackrock owns 2,146,439 AAOI shares. Prior to this filing, Blackrock owned 1,042,286 shares and was the second largest institutional holder of AAOI shares.

Assuming no other institutions bought shares, Blackrock now becomes the biggest institutional holder of AAOI. Between January 1 and April 30th Blackrock purchased over 1.1 million shares. The funny thing is that Blackrock didn't even purchase shares from other shareholders who sold. That volume came out of the increased short interest during that time. Shorts have been so foolish that they have been shorting into Blackrock's purchase. And it doesn't look like Blackrock bought those shares to day trade them.

AAOI ended Wednesday a few pennies off its day high, and made a new 52-week high of $65. Literally every single short out there is losing money on this trade. Some of them quite badly. With Blackrock's purchase, institutional holdings are now over 70%. Shorts are in massive, massive trouble here. Because depending on how tightly held those institutional shares are - and with analyst upgrades to the $100 region they might be holding until then - there aren't enough shares in retail hands in order for them to cover until it reaches $100 and institutions decide to sell.

We think a massive short squeeze is coming on AAOI, even more than what we have seen so far this week. We thought the stock could hit $80 during the summer. At this pace it might hit that number or higher by the end of next week. If you like our picks make sure to follow our blog by clicking the follow button on the top of the left hand panel. We added another 15 followers to 200 since our alert on AAOI, and those people are probably pretty happy that they got in when they did.

Disclosure: We are long AAOI

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