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Hedge funds up Ocado shorts

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Hedge funds and other investors have upped their short wagers on UK online grocer Ocado amid continuing speculation over the company’s future following its struggle to turn a profit, according to a report by ThisIsMoney.

The increase in bets against Ocado come as Ocado’s share price has tumbled by more than half since the start of 2024 and the company is now on the verge of dropping out of the FTSE 100 after a six-year stint.

According to the report, Ocado is now the second-most shorted London-listed stock, behind oilfield services group Petrofac, with 8% of the firm’s shares – the highest level in six year – held by investors betting against it.

The report cites regulatory filings in revealing that Kintbury Capital, D1 Capital Partners and BlackRock Investment Management are among the investment firms holding large short positions in Ocado.

Despite a coining increase in sales, Ocado has failed to turn a profit, registering a loss of £394m for the 12 months ending December 2023, and a £581m loss in the previous year. Since its inception in 2000, Ocado has managed only three annual profits, on a pre-tax basis.

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