Alibaba Group Holding's (BABA) massive third quarter wasn't enough to save it from a nearly 6% drop in trading Thursday.
The Chinese e-retailer reported a 56% increase in third-quarter revenue while net income shot up 34%. However, the $1.63 per share EPS the company reported fell short of Wall Street expectations, sending the stock tumbling 5.9%, or $12.07, to $192.22
Alibaba is the most shorted stock in the world, and the bears were eating well Thursday.
Alibaba has short interest of $25.9 billion, nearly $10 billion more than the second-most shorted stock in the world, fellow Chinese company Ping An Insurance which has a short interest of $16.3 billion. Third on the list is Tesla Inc. (TSLA) with short interest of $10.7 billion, according to S3 Analytics.
With a $12.07 price drop on 126.8 million short shares, short sellers made $1.53 billion in daily mark-to-market profits Thursday. Yesterday's gains covered just over a quarter of this year's losses and now Alibaba shorts are down $3.9 billion in 2018.
Thursday's selloff was a nice respite for Alibaba doubters as short sellers are down $15.7 billion in mark-to-market losses since 2016, according to S3. However, in a nod to short-seller conviction, short exposure has more than tripled over that time period in spite of those losses.
Alibaba was rising 0.62% to $193 in premarket trading Friday so short-sellers may want to hold off on the champagne for now.
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