Short sellers see downside risk in shares of Talisman Energy Inc.
(TSX: T.TLM, Stock Forum)
and Barrick Gold Corp.
(TSX: T.ABX, Stock Forum)
, according to the TSX’s latest short position report.
Between November 30, 2013 and December 15, 2013 the number of short positions on Barrick Gold jumped by 19.2 million to just over 24 million shares.
In the same period, short positions on Talisman Energy rose by 13.4 million to 37.7 million, a clear sign that investors expect the shares to decline in the near future.
Those increases made Barrick and Talisman the clear leaders – in terms of short position increases -- on a top 20 list that was released this week by the TSX.
The list has emerged just days after Talisman announced the sale of its stake in a Colombia pipeline for US$595 million in an ongoing effort to unload between $2 billion and $3 billion worth of assets, as the company works to improve its balance sheet.
Barrick Gold has been working to revamp and improve its corporate governance after confirming that founder and co-chairman Peter Munk would retire after the company’s next annual meeting. The world’s leading gold miner has been under fire for an $11.9 million signing bonus paid to co-chairman John Thornton.
On Wednesday, Barrick Gold was off 0.82% to $18.08, leaving the company with a market cap of $21 billion, based on 1.2 billion shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $35.50 and $14.22.
Talisman was up 0.74% to $12.21, leaving a market cap of $12.6 billion, based on over one billion shares outstanding. The 52-week range is $13.83 and $10.68.