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Wall Street's Most Hated Stocks

John Melloy
Thursday, 13 Dec 2012 | 3:49 PM ET

They are the most hated stocks on Wall Street.

On a monthly basis, exchanges release "short interest" data, revealing the companies that have the largest bets being placed against their success by hedge funds and other speculators.

In order to "short" a stock, one must borrow shares of an equity from a bank and sell them, in the hopes of buying back those shares at a lower price and returning them to the bank. The investor profits from the difference in price at which they sold the borrowed shares and the lower price at which they bought them back.

Short interest reflects the amount of shares out there currently being sold short. Research firms, such as Bespoke Investment Group, will often compare that amount relative to the total shares in the company available for trading. This way, you can truly find the most hated stocks on Wall Street.

Most Hated Stocks on Wall Street

Name Sector Short Interest vs. Float (%)
First Solar Inc Technology 43.05
J C Penney Company Inc Cons Discret. 42.94
GameStop Corp Cons Discret. 36.47
Safeway Inc Cons Staples 33.45
Pitney Bowes Inc Industrials 30.50
Netflix Inc Cons Discret. 26.97
United States Steel Corp Materials 25.30
Lennar Corp Cons Discret. 24.45
Advanced Micro Devices Inc Technology 24.06
Frontier Communications Corp Telecom Svcs 22.29
Cliffs Natural Resources Inc Materials 19.96
Federated Investors Inc Financials 17.68
Apollo Group Inc Cons Discret. 16.51
TripAdvisor Inc Cons Discret. 14.44
Chesapeake Energy Corp Energy 14.04
Best Buy Co Inc Cons Discret. 14.04
Hasbro Inc Cons Discret. 13.78
Seagate Technology PLC Technology 13.75
Eaton Corp PLC Industrials 13.27
Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc Cons Discret. 13.22
Abercrombie & Fitch Co Cons Discret. 13.09
Dun & Bradstreet Corp Industrials 12.95
Staples Inc Cons Discret. 12.59
Salesforce.com Inc Technology 12.48
D.R. Horton Inc. Cons Discret. 12.19
Bespoke Investment Group

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