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4 REITs Short-Sellers Can't Get Enough of

In the recent wave of short squeezes, most headlines focused on stocks like GameStop (NYSE: GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings (NYSE: AMC), but those weren't the only two companies affected. There were several real estate investment trusts, or REITs, that saw their stocks swing violently due to their own high short interest. In this Fool Live video clip, recorded on Feb. 8, Fool.com contributor Matt Frankel, CFP, and Industry Focus host Jason Moser discuss five REITs with high short interest and why so many short-sellers are betting against them.

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Matt Frankel: No. 1 is Macerich (NYSE: MAC), ticker symbol MAC. They are a mall operator, they're a Simon (NYSE: SPG) competitor. Not quite as well-to-do financially as Simon is, which is why people seem to be betting against it. Simon is not on the list. Macerich is 57% short interest.

Jason Moser: Wow.

Frankel: That's the highest of all these. Tanger Factory Outlets (NYSE: SKT) is No. 2, ticker symbol is SKT. Their short interest is 52.4% right now, so more than half the float is sold short.

Moser: Wow.

Frankel: People do not have a positive outlook on the outlet industry going forward apparently.

Moser: Apparently not.

Frankel: No. 3 is Seritage Growth Properties (NYSE: SRG), which we talked about. I can understand why people are betting against them. I'm a shareholder. I completely understand the other side of the coin in that one. [laughs] It's a REIT that's losing money, which is really rare.

Moser: Yeah.

Frankel: Their whole business model is redevelopment. That costs money. I always joke that they were designed to become a Sears landlord, and even Sears didn't want to own Sears properties at that point. [laughs] No. 4, this one actually surprised me is Iron Mountain (NYSE: IRM).

Moser: Oh, yeah. The document management.

Frankel: The document management but they're slowly and quietly getting you to the data center space.

Moser: Yeah.

Frankel: Which is the most promising side of the business from a long-term perspective. But it's that legacy document storage business that I think is scaring a lot of investors away, and theirs is 17.5%. A lot of people are bidding against some of these financial and real estate companies. We saw Tanger, and Seritage and Macerich. Those were really short squeezed during the GameStop thing. Tanger went up at 50% one day. The short squeeze went beyond GameStop, and AMC, I'll put it that way.

Moser: Yeah, I can imagine.

Jason Moser has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Matthew Frankel, CFP owns shares of Iron Mountain, Seritage Growth Properties (Class A), Simon Property Group, and Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. The Motley Fool owns shares of and recommends Seritage Growth Properties (Class A). The Motley Fool recommends Tanger Factory Outlet Centers. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.


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