5 Small-Cap Oil & Gas Stocks for Short-Sellers

Michael Teague |

It has been a big year for small-cap energy companies. The S&P SmallCap 600 Capped Energy Index, which tracks small-cap US companies involved in operating and servicing of the upstream and midstream segments of the oil and gas industry has added over 35 percent in 2013, and the PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy ($PSCE) ETF that tracks the performance of the index is currently priced at $45.71 per share on the NASDAQ.

Small oil and gas companies have the US shale boom to thank more than anything for the year’s gains, especially those who were able to snatch the best spots in the plentiful Bakken and Eagle Ford shale formations. Dramatic increases in the production of shale oil and gas have turned the notion of American energy independence from a faraway dream into a fast-approaching reality in a very short period of time.

But while many small companies have been well-positioned to profit off of a generally more bullish climate, the rising tide of shale has not necessarily lifted all boats. The following five small-cap oil & gas companies concluded the previous week of trading with the largest percentage of short-selling transactions (a short float of over 20 percent), an indication that investors and traders are betting on further declines. Furthermore, the high percentage of short-selling took place on greater than average volume, as measured by the relative volume ratio (the multiple of a stock’s one-day trading volume against the three-month average).


Bill Barrett Corporation (BBG)

Industry: Oil & Gas Drilling/Exploration

Market Cap: $1.25 billion

Price: $26.22

Relative Volume: 1.27

Short Float: 24.65 percent

Performance YTD: +47.93


Northern Oil and Gas, Inc. (NOG)

Industry: Oil & Gas Drilling/Exploration

Market Cap: $900.81 million

Price: $14.43

Relative Volume: 2.75

Short Float: 22.98 percent

Performance YTD: -14.21 percent


Goodrich Petroleum Corp. ($GDP)

Industry: Independent Oil & Gas

Market Cap: $658.24 million

Price: $17.92

Relative Volume: 2.00

Short Float: 22.62 percent

Performance YTD: +92.27 percent


Swift Energy Co. (SFY)

Industry: Independent Oil & Gas

Market Cap: $545.40 million

Price: $12.57

Relative Volume: 1.61

Short Float: 28.65 percent

Performance YTD: -18.32 percent


Miller Energy Resources, Inc. (MILL)

Industry: Independent Oil & Gas

Market Cap: $334.60 million

Price: $7.70

Relative Volume: 1.00

Short Float: 28.90 percent

Performance YTD: +94.44

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Symbol Name Price Change % Volume
BBG Bill Barrett Corporation 5.98 0.04 0.67 869,357
GDP Goodrich Petroleum Corp. n/a n/a n/a 0
MIGDF Migdal Insurance Company Ltd 0.70 0.00 0.00 0
NOG Northern Oil and Gas Inc. 2.58 0.08 3.00 640,719
PSCE PowerShares S&P SmallCap Energy Portfolio 18.62 0.04 0.20 3,081
SFY Swift Energy Co. n/a n/a n/a n/a


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