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Top Financial Short-Squeeze Plays

With the financial sector dominating the business news headlines, and financial stocks such as Goldman Sachs (GS - Get Report) and JPMorgan (JPM - Get Report) helping to lead some moves higher, now may be the time to look at heavily shorted names in the sector in anticipation of a snapback, when short-sellers scramble to cover their positions.

This is especially true with companies such as Lehman Brothers (LEH) and UBS (UBS), who are fighting the short-sellers by issuing stock to increase their liquidity. The key ratio for analyzing short-squeezes is the short ratio, which represents the number of days it would take for those shorting a stock to cover their bearish positions should the stock start moving higher, based on the stock's recent average daily trading volume.

With this in mind, Stockpickr has compiled a list of the Top Financial Short-Squeeze Plays.

One of the stocks with a high short ratio is Woori Finance Holdings (WF - Get Report), a South Korean-based financial services and banking company with a short ratio of 45.5. The stock rose 9% April 1, following Lehman Brothers' liquidity news. Woori has a forward price-to-earnings ratio of 6.6 and a P/E-to-growth ratio of 0.6.

Woori appears in a Stockpickr portfolio called South Korean Stocks You Can Invest In From US. Other stocks in the portfolio include Kookmin Bank (KB), which has a 1.4 short ratio, Shinhan Financial Group (SHG), with a 0.9 short ratio, and SK Telecom (SKM), with a short ratio of 2.

Another stock with a high short ratio is Greenhill & Co (GHL - Get Report), a New York investment banking firm with a short ratio of 34.2. The company recently appointed its managing director Richard Lieb to the chief financial officer position. The stock has a forward P/E ratio of 14.6, a PEG of 1 and a yield of 2.5%.

Greenhill is a stock owned by Al Gore's investment vehicle, Generation Investment Management. Gore also owns shares of Johnson Controls (JCI), with a short ratio of 4, Aflac (AFL), with a 2.1 short ratio, and Becton, Dickinson (BDX), which has a short ratio of 0.9.

Enstar Group (ESGR - Get Report) is another financial stock with a high short ratio; the manager of insurance companies has a short ratio of 24.1. The company recently closed its acquisition of AMP Limited's Australian-based reinsurance and insurance operations. The stock has a trailing P/E ratio of 22.

Enstar is a favorite of top stock value investor and hedge fund manager Michael Price. He also holds Tyco Electronics (TEL), which has a 1.9 short ratio, CBS (CBS), with a 5.5 short ratio, and Northwestern (NWEC), with an 11.6 short ratio.

For for other heavily shorted stocks in the sector, check out the Top Financial Short-Squeeze Plays at Stockpickr.com.
At the time of publication, Altucher and/or his fund had no positions in stocks mentioned, although positions may change at any time.

James Altucher is president of Stockpickr LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of TheStreet.com and part of its network of Web properties, and a managing partner at Formula Capital, an alternative asset management firm that runs a fund of hedge funds. He is also a weekly columnist for the Financial Times and the author of Trade Like a Hedge Fund , Trade Like Warren Buffett and SuperCa$h . Under no circumstances does the information in this column represent a recommendation to buy or sell stocks. Altucher appreciates your feedback; click here to send him an email.

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SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
ESGR $145.74 -0.08%
GS $187.79 -0.41%
GHL $35.52 -1.40%
JPM $64.11 -0.57%
UBS $20.88 0.38%

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