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TheStreet Open House

5 Hated Stocks That Could Squeeze Higher in March

Virgin Media

2013 is panning out to be a stellar year for Virgin Media (VMED). Shares of the $12 billion UK-based cable TV operator have climbed more than 23% so far this year, crushing the S&P 500's 5% ascent over the same period.

That doesn't say much for the short sellers right now -- other than that there are a lot of them. With a short interest ratio of 12.4, it would take more than half a month of buying pressure for short sellers to exit VMED right now.

Virgin Media's modern cable network reaches approximately two-thirds of the UK's population. While the firm is the underdog in the pay-TV segment, it's quickly catching up to become a league leader in the broadband internet business, boasting connection speeds that incumbents can't match. Cross-selling opportunities are golden for firms such as Virgin Media, since offering services such as broadband or phone to existing cable customers is far more profitable than single-service accounts are (and typically preferable for consumers as well).

But a new, modern network does come with costs. While a heavy debt load has previously been a major shareholder concern, recent restructuring takes a considerable amount of pressure off of management in the short-term. Maybe someone should tell the shorts -- VMED makes a solid squeeze candidate right now.

Equinix

Last up is Equinix (EQIX), a $10 billion data center stock that tips the scales as the biggest provider of data collocation services. The firm's data centers take up 6.5 million square feet spread across the globe on five continents. And its shares are spread among short sellers -- the firm's short interest ratio weighs in at 12.4.

The datacenter business has been on fire in recent years, as increased use of cloud services among consumers ratchets up demand for hosted storage space. With data needs projected to continue to grow at a breakneck rate, that trend isn't likely to be over for Equinix. The firm's track record of large capabilities and industry-leading uptime give it an edge over smaller competitors who don't possess the same infrastructure.

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