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TheStreet Open House

5 Heavily Shorted Stocks That Hedge Funds Love

Stock quotes in this article: HLF, CHK, SLCA, NILE, JCP

Another problem for Ackman with his HLF short position is that other large hedge fund managers are joining Icahn and George Soros and going long the stock. On Tuesday, news came out that hedge fund manager Richard Perry, founder of Perry Capital, has taken a stake in Herbalife that is less than 5%. According to reports, Perry Capital believes the stock is cheap and the company is not a pyramid scheme.

From a technical perspective, shares of HLF have been trending sideways for the last month, after coming out of a bullish uptrend. That sideways trend has been pushing shares of HLF between close to $60 a share on the downside and $68 a share on the upside. Traders should be on alert for a squeeze off any high-volume move above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $67.69 to its 52-week high at $68 a share and then above its three-year highs at $70.30 a share. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 3.28 million shares. If that move triggers, then HLF could easily trade to $100 a share, or possibly even north of $100 a share.

Chesapeake Energy

Another heavily-shorted stock that Icahn has boosted his stake in is Chesapeake Energy ( CHK), a natural gas and oil exploration and production company. This stock has been on fire so far in 2013, with shares up smartly by 51%.

Chesapeake Energy has a market cap of $16 billion and an enterprise value of $29 billion. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a forward price-to-earnings of 11.93. Its estimated growth rate for this year 163.9%, and for next year it's pegged at 30.4%. This company currently sports a dividend yield of 1.4%. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Chesapeake Energy is pretty high at 11.1%.

Icahn just announced that he's increased his stake in CHK to 9.98% from 8.98%, or a total of 66.5 million shares. This isn't Icahn's first buy of CHK, since he started buying the stock last year after the company ran into management and liquidity issues.

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