1

NASDAQ lists data like this for the short interest in Walmart:

Settlement Date    Short Interest   Avg Daily Share Volume      Days To Cover
  4/30/2013          27,988,175        7,442,123                3.760778
  4/15/2013          27,609,531        7,570,113                3.647176
  3/28/2013          26,370,127        6,788,752                3.884385
  3/15/2013          33,099,898        8,217,683                4.027887

What does the settlement date refer to? Does it mean "as of date..."?

4

At the bottom of the page you linked to, NASDAQ provides a link to this page on nasdaqtrader.com, which states

Each FINRA member firm is required to report its “total” short interest positions in all customer and proprietary accounts in NASDAQ-listed securities twice a month. These reports are used to calculate short interest in NASDAQ stocks.

FINRA member firms are required to report their short positions as of settlement on (1) the 15th of each month, or the preceding business day if the 15th is not a business day, and (2) as of settlement on the last business day of the month.* The reports must be filed by the second business day after the reporting settlement date. FINRA compiles the short interest data and provides it for publication on the 8th business day after the reporting settlement date.

The dates you are seeing are the dates the member firms settled their trades. In general (also from nasdaq.com), the settlement date is

The date on which payment is made to settle a trade. For stocks traded on US exchanges, settlement is currently three business days after the trade.

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