BALTIMORE (Stockpickr) -- Sometimes it pays to be contrarian. Contrarian investors bet against the herd, the justification being that by the time an investment idea becomes conventional wisdom, it's probably already run its course. That's why while most people were investing in tech stocks in 1999 and real estate companies in 2006 and 2007, contrarian investors were betting in the other direction.
If there's ever been an industry that's taken heat from investors in the last two years, it's construction services. With the bursting of the real estate bubble and simultaneous seizing of the credit market, builders across the board saw their businesses slam to a grinding halt in 2008, leading to the industry's nearly 28% drop in the trailing 24 months. (The S&P 500 index dropped only 18% over that time.)
Canadian sports apparel company Gildan Activewear (GIL) has seen a mind-blowing rally in the last 12 months, with shares rocketing 241%. But that hasn't stopped the short-sellers from taking stakes against shares; the company's short interest ratio currently sits at 17.9.
Wholesale power generation company TransAlta ( TAC) is a highly shorted stock that focuses on the Canadian power generation market. Competition and increased balance sheet leverage have pushed TransAlta's short interest ratio to 17.6.
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