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I understand what has brought so much attention to GameStop's stock is someone noticed that it has strong finances but was being heavily shorted, i.e., other people took heavy bets that the stock price would go down. I know how to look up financial statements from the 10-Q and 10-K filings, but I can't find the "short position" in any of these. Searching for "short" doesn't lead to any tables with numbers. Googling for it just leads me to SEC rules in impenetrable lingo saying that this must be disclosed, but I'm looking for someone to show specifically where the number is so I can look it up for other companies I would consider personally investing in.

Where in GME's 2019 public filings are there short-stock positions reported, and how can we know that the company was "heavily" shorted?

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    Does this answer your question? How did the WallstreetBet community know that Game Stop was shorted so heavily?
    – some_user
    Jan 30, 2021 at 2:51
  • @some_user, Nope. That answer links to an unanswered question, and a comment there links to an answer that says I am not 100% sure how it works in the US with SCE disclosures, maybe somebody else will add an answer for the US market. Does anybody out there know where this number comes from within US filings? Jan 30, 2021 at 2:59
  • " is someone noticed that it has strong finances " - given that the company is loosing money and loosing money and loosing money - where the heck do you get the idea of "strong finances"? The ONLY thing they say was "140% of float shorted" which is all that is needed. GameStop is a company that URGENTLY needs a new direction before it goes bankrupt, and is NOT in a "strong" financial position.
    – TomTom
    Jan 30, 2021 at 8:18
  • Also, you will not find a short position in the financial statements of a company. This would make ZERO sense. it is others that are short the stocks of the company, the company balance sheet OBVIOUSLY has no trace of that. How could it? So the are OBVIOUSLY not reported there.
    – TomTom
    Jan 30, 2021 at 8:19
  • Hey Mods -- I'm not sure if anyone will see this, but closing this question is not a great way to retain new users. I already reported that it is not a duplicated and explained why in the comments. If this was auto-closed, you should look into whether that feature can be reined in. If a moderator did this, you should look into what your moderators are trying to accomplish. Jan 30, 2021 at 16:35

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Where in GME's 2019 public filings are there short-stock positions reported?

Nowhere. They are NOT PART OF GME's PUBLIC FILINGS. Why? The are not part of the finances or anything related to the GME internals. It is OTHERS that are borrowing the stock and selling it (a.k.a. short), the company has zero information about it. Why would it?

and how can we know that the company was "heavily" shorted?

By looking at the records for those. Various sources are publishing the short numbers of stocks, i.e. the Wall Street Journal or Bloomberg.

Again, the short sale is not an attribute of the company at all, so expecting it in the filings shows a certain naiveté about what the filings contain and how the stock market works.

This limited knowledge is also shown in your statement: "GameStop's stock is someone noticed that it has strong finances" - in what world has a company that has a losing business model and is losing cash every year without turning it around a company with "strong finances"? This is the type of company going straight into a bankruptcy - hence a lot of professionals opened (obviously too many) shorts. They have been losing money 2 years straight, no income the year before as per their EPS. The business model is outdated (online retailers and ebay likely earning their profit) with the revenue going REALLY down - 30% less turnover in 3 years is NOT growing. Want to see strong financials? Look at Microsoft, blowing out the profit targets big time. Not a lot of people shorting into a company with growing profits quarter after quarter after quarter for years. THOSE are strong financials - GameStop is a takeover / bankruptcy candidate, and no one wants to buy their business model.

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  • shows a certain naivety about what the filings contain, I just opened my first brokerage account and bought my first stock yesterday, so yes, I am certainly naive about these things. Let me know if this is not a place to ask beginner questions, or if there is a way to flag/tag them so folks can filter them out if desired. Also, thank you for your answer, it makes sense now. Jan 30, 2021 at 10:29
  • it is totally ok to have a certain naivety - i just wanted to point it out. You definitely need to apply some more baseline learning. it should be quite clear quite fast that no, the short ratio just is not a number of the company, but of the market operations.
    – TomTom
    Jan 30, 2021 at 10:54
  • do you have any recommendations for baseline learning? Some standard book on stock-trading fundamentals? An Amazon link would be welcome. Jan 30, 2021 at 11:31
  • Totally not - well, you could go the way of Brokers. The learning material for a Broker Series 7 should be available SOMEWHERE for very low cost and it is always a decent read.
    – TomTom
    Jan 30, 2021 at 13:28
  • @user1717828 - TomTom's suggestion to read the Series 7 licensing exam prep book is a good one for a broad understanding of the underpinnings of the financial markets (regulations, margin, what options and bonds are, IPOs) but it is somewhat slanted toward being a broker. However, having read it 20+ years ago when I briefly considering unretiring, it's not going to help you much with learning about stock-trading fundamentals? Jan 30, 2021 at 13:49
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Someone on the Quantitative Finance BB provided a very good answer for this:

Without Bloomberg, how can retail investors know how many shares have been shorted daily?.

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  • Thanks! I just checked it out. BTW, did you know you can click "Share" directly under an answer to link directly to it, like this? Jan 30, 2021 at 13:59
  • Thanks for the tip. My learning curve is bent so it takes me a while to get up to speed ;->) Jan 30, 2021 at 14:15

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