|Company||Short Interest As a % of Outstanding Shares|
|The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO)||0.61%|
|Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)||0.63%|
|General Electric Company (NYSE:GE)||0.67%|
|Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)||0.69%|
|The Procter & Gamble Company (NYSE:PG)||0.70%|
I consider the only injustice on this monthly list to be when The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) isn't atop the most loved Dow Jones components. There are few brands, if any, that can rival the geographical diversification of Coca-Cola. With its recent expansion into Myanmar, there are now just two countries on the planet where Coca-Cola doesn't sell its products. To further pat Coca-Cola on the back for its diversification, if you were to try one new Coke product every day, it would take you more than nine years to get through them all! With a steady stream of cash flow and a diverse range of products, short-sellers are keeping their distance from Coke.Do investors have a reason to worry?
Nothing short of a global depression is going to cause serious worry among Coke shareholders. The Coca-Cola Company (NYSE:KO) is one of the most recognized brand names in the world, and it certainly spends a pretty penny more than its peers on advertising. Although it's probably seen an end to its rapid expansion days, energy drinks and new offerings will keep the hamster spinning on the wheel, which should allow the company to continue to crank out slow but steady top- and bottom-line growth.
Source: WalMart, Flickr.
Why are short-sellers avoiding Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT)?
The reason most short-sellers keep their distance from Wal-Mart has to do with its premier pricing power as America's largest retailer, and its extremely low beta of just 0.33. To begin with, Wal-Mart is so large and capable of producing so much cash flow that it can simply undercut local business prices to drive business into its own stores and create loyal customers. The other factor here is its low beta -- a measure of volatility. In this case, Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) is only about a third as volatile as the S&P 500. Short-sellers are rarely long-term-minded and usually out for the quick buck, which makes Wal-Mart an easy pass for many of them.