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Apparently Susquehanna doesn't agree with Icahn, since the firm cut its rating on CHK this morning to neutral from positive, but kept its price target of $26 on the stock. The firm said much of the recent improvement is now priced into the share price and while all the right rhetoric is in place and old-guard senior managers have left, the gas markets are weak, CHK's easiest divestitures are done, and CHK is now implementing a new capital allocation system. "We expect some integration issues and don't anticipate outperformance of the name in the near term," the firm said.
From a technical perspective, CHK has been uptrending strong for the last two months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $19.24 to its recent high of $25.64 a share. During that uptrend, shares of CHK have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CHK within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade. That trade will hit if CHK manages to take out its 52-week high at $25.64 with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 11.33 million shares. If that breakout hits soon, then CHK could easily short-squeeze towards its next major overhead resistance levels at $29 to $33, or even $35 a share.
Another major player in the hedge fund world that's loading up on some heavily-shorted stocks here is
, the founder of hedge fund SAC Capital Advisors. Cohen has an estimated net worth of $9.3 billion and
ranks him as the 106th richest man in the world.
One heavily shorted stock that Cohen has taken a new stake in is
), which is a domestic producer of commercial silica, a specialized mineral that is a critical input into a variety of attractive end markets. This stock is off to a strong start in 2013, with shares up sharply by 31%.
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U.S. Silica has a market cap of $1.18 billion and an enterprise value of $1.43 billion. This stock trades at a cheap valuation, with a trailing price-to-earnings of 15.29 and a forward price-to-earnings of 10.26. Its estimated growth rate for this year 13.2%, and for next year it's pegged at 34.4%. This stock currently sports a dividend yield of 2.2%. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for U.S. Silica is extremely high at 42.8%.