It may be hard to believe, but there are several stocks owned by George Soros, the noted stock trader, that are heavily shorted.

When many investors bet against a particular stock, there is the possibility of a short-squeeze play, whereby a stock spikes upward on good news because of the short-sellers quickly covering their positions. Short-squeeze opportunities are generally measured by the short ratio, the number of days it would take the short sellers to cover their positions on the basis of recent volume.

Fortunately, Stockpickr has done the homework for you and discovered Soros stocks with short ratios above 5, with some carrying ratios significantly higher.

The Soros stock with the highest short ratio is Quest Diagnostics ( DGX), which is measured at 17.8. This health care diagnostic testing company recently declared a regular dividend of 10 cents per share, giving the stock a small yield of 0.8%. Quest will be presenting at the 26th annual JPMorgan Healthcare Conference. The stock has a P/E of 24 and a PEG of 1.29.

One of the money managers that owns Quest is MD Sass Associates Inc., a New York-based asset-management firm that has $700 million under management. Sass also owns Joy Global ( JOYG), with a short ratio of 2.7, MSC Industrial Direct ( MSM), with a 3.6 short ratio, and Baker Hughes ( BHI), with a 3.7 short ratio.

Another heavily shorted Soros stock is Apex Silver Mines ( SIL), with a short ratio of 12.6. This Cayman Islands-based company has mining operations in Central and South America. In November, the company generated a loss of $2.59 per share for the third quarter of 2007 vs. a profit of $1.16 per share for the same quarter of the prior year. The stock has a forward P/E of 7.23.

Apex is owned by Moore Capital, a group of hedge funds, run by Louis Bacon, with over $10 billion in assets under management. Their Moore Global Investments Fund has had an average annual return of 24% since 1990. It also owns Motorola ( MOT), with a short ratio of 3.0, Dell ( DELL), with a 0.9 short ratio, and Qualcomm ( QCOM), with a 1.5 short ratio.

Inverness Medical Innovations ( IMA) is another stock with significant short interest that is owned by Soros, with a short ratio of 8.4. This manufacturer of in vitro diagnostic pregnancy products just completed its acquisition of Panbio, based in Brisbane, Australia, which makes and markets diagnostic tests for various infectious diseases. The stock has a forward P/E of 23 and a PEG of 3.09.

Inverness shows up in the portfolio of Atticus Capital, which is a money manager with $13 billion of assets under management. In 2006, it was up 32.2% for the year, according to the International Herald Tribune. Atticus also owns FreeportMcMoRan Copper & Gold ( FCX), with a 3.1 short ratio; ConocoPhillips ( COP), with a short ratio of 2.6; and Union Pacific ( UNP), which also has a 2.6 ratio.

To see the entire list of Soros stocks with high short ratios, go to Stockpickr.com, where you can also find the entire list of Soros stocks.

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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