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The Most Shorted Stock On The NASDAQ Among Today’s Big Losers

Three actively-traded stocks are all down this morning on high trading volume, especially when it comes to Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), which has fallen by 14% so far this morning after it was revealed last night that the beauty products company is negotiating to sell a stake of itself to a private equity firm. We’ll look at Avon and two other stocks in this article, including the most shorted one on the NASDAQ in the second half of August.

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evgeny varlamov /

Let’s continue on with Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP), which famously operates entirely through a network of direct sellers, who once upon a time roamed the streets of the nation door-by-door in search of sales, but have increasingly been using the internet to drive customer interaction in recent years. Nonetheless, Avon’s internet sales growth has not been overly strong, which has led to an erosion in its overall sales for years. The news that Avon, which was trying to find a buyer, is being forced to consider selling a stake to interested private equity firms, which reportedly includes Stephen Feinberg’s Cerberus Capital Management, means the company was unsuccessful in finding a suitor. That news has not sat well with the market, pushing the stock down by 30% from the heights it reached early yesterday afternoon. A top small-cap value pick of Donald Yacktman, Avon Products, Inc. (NYSE:AVP) is now down by more than 62% year-to-date.

Whether or not hedge funds like a stock is an important metric to follow, because these large investors show a great level of skill and expertise when it comes to picking stocks. Over the last few years equity hedge funds have trailed the market by a large margin, but that’s mostly due to their hedging and short positions, which perform poorly in a bull market. Their long positions performed far better, especially their small-cap picks, which have the potential to beat the market by 95 basis points per month on average, as our backtests showed. Our small-cap strategy involves imitating a portfolio of the 15 most popular small-cap picks among hedge funds and it has returned 118% since August 2012, beating the S&P 500 ETF (SPY) by over 60 percentage points (read more details here).

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