Hedge Funds May Now Be Facing ‘Massive’ Pandora Short Squeeze

(Bloomberg) -- Shares in Pandora A/S have soared 12 percent in less than two days, putting hedge funds betting against the Danish jewelry maker in a potentially awkward position.

For the past year, Pandora has tended to deliver gains to funds shorting it and losses to long-term investors. In the 12 months through Oct. 10, the stock plunged more than 40 percent amid concerns the company was struggling in the U.S. and China. But this week, something changed.

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On Thursday, Pandora suddenly shot up, rising more than 10 percent at one point. On Friday, the shares traded as much as 7.4 percent higher. The gains follow speculation that the company may have hired an adviser to help it handle potential approaches from buyout funds. It also appears to be doing much better in the U.S., according to a Carnegie note seen by Bloomberg.

“If there’s something to these rumors about buyout funds, good U.S. feedback might speed up their interest, and it might also mean a higher bid,” said Per Hansen, an investment economist at Nordnet in Copenhagen.

“More than 5 percent of the stock continues to be shorted and that raises the possibility of a massive short squeeze,” he said.

Hedge Funds May Now Be Facing ‘Massive’ Pandora Short Squeeze

Short interest in Pandora is currently about 5.4 percent of its outstanding shares, according to IHS Markit data. That compares with a high of 12.4 percent in April. Funds shorting the stock include AQR Capital Management, Coatue Management and Marshall Wace, according to Bloomberg data.

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According to Hansen, Pandora’s third-quarter results, which are due to be published on Nov. 6, might mark the “beginning of a more stable period.”

“In recent weeks, the news flow has been better than in a long time,” Hansen said.

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