Nice guys finish last, or in airline carrier JetBlue’s (JBLU US) case, get sold short. Despite being hailed as a hero for capping flights at $99 for Floridians looking to escape the path of Hurricane Irma, short interest has spiked significantly since the storm.
S3 Partners calculates short interest ended up 60% and 50% for the month of September alone, when measured on a shares sold short and dollars at risk basis, respectively. S3 computes at much as $356.3 million is now betting on a stock price decline, up from $238.3 million at the end of August. This means an average of approx. $6 million per trading day was added to the short side last month.
Per the table below, JetBlue came in as the #1 increase in dollars at risk for the entire US domestic Airlines industry in September. Almost doubling the monthly change in Southwest (LUV US) and more than tripling Alaska Air (AKA US) and Spirit (SAVE US).
With large exposure to Florida and the Caribbean which have been hit heavily by hurricane season this year, and on-going price wars between lower cost airline carriers, short sellers are hoping for a first-class seat to profitability on their JBLU positions.
Want deeper insight into the above analysis? Contact:
Director, S3 Partners
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