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TheStreet Open House

Stockpickr: Three Short-Squeeze Plays

There are 2.2 million shares short of Gaiam stock, and the average trading volume is only 161,000. Using a back-of-the-envelope calculation, it would take more than 10 days of nonstop short-covering for the shorts to stop losing money if the stock were to move higher.

Analysts expect Gaiam to earn 31 cents a share in 2007, up from 23 cents in 2006 and 8 cents in 2005. That's nice growth. Revenue is expected to grow from $217.7 million to $247.7 million.

The company and insiders also just bought back $32 million worth of stock from Steve Case's Revolution Living. Who were these insiders? Prentice Capital, a spinoff of Stevie Cohen's SAC Capital, bought back $7 million of the shares. I like following Prentice because it's a trailblazer. Often, SAC piggybacks its shares with Prentice, as it did with another retailer, Wet Seal (WTSLA).

Stockpickr lists the portfolio holdings for both Prentice Capital and SAC Capital.

Another stock with high short interest is Consolidated-Tomoka Land (CTO). The company is involved in all sorts of real estate development operations, including commercial real estate, land sales, leading properties for mineral exploration, and golf course development.

With roughly 228,000 shares short and an average trading volume of just 13,000, it would take several days for the shorts to cover if the stock were to rise. Shorts are probably betting that either the decline in real estate or the decline in oil from their respective highs will eventually affect this stock.

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