BUZZ-Valeant long a bane to short sellers, 'til now

Wed Oct 21, 2015 4:14pm EDT
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** Drug maker's shares clobbered on record-setting volume after short-seller report likened the company to Enron

** Shorting VRX until now has been a tough bet

** June 2014: Short interest (SI) shot to a record 20.7 mln shrs, 6.2 pct of free float, from fewer than 4 mln, 1.2 pct of float, in just two months as hedge fund heavyweights Jim Chanos (short) and Bill Ackman (long) sparred publicly over the company

** After short-lived dip of about 8 pct, Valeant's U.S.-listed shares nearly doubled over ensuing 52 weeks to around $230 from less than $120 at SI peak

** Previous short selling waves also ran into walls

** July 2012: With SI of more than 15 mln shrs, or 5.1 pct of float, stock doubled from around $45 to $90 in a year

** September 2010: SI of 18.4 mln shrs, 6.2 pct of float (previous record), stock rallied around 50 pct to $37 from $25 in a year

** One, short but notable big win for shorts: July 2011, SI rose to 4.8 pct of float with the stock at around $52; shrs fell about 27 pct in a month to around $38

** Latest SI position: 7.07 mln shrs, or 2.1 pct of float (up from 2-year low short position of 3.15 mln, or less than 1 pct in mid-August)