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Short bettors ramp down on Southwestern, Cheniere

The second half of June saw investors dial back shortbets on two of the most heavily shorted energy companies, and

Short interest in Southwestern declined by 372 basispoints, to 15.73% of outstanding shares, between June 15 and June 30, toppingSNL Energy's list of short-interest decreases among midstream and relatedcompanies.

Southwestern, whose operations are now primarilyupstream, has been applying a number of remedies as it attempts to salvage itsbalance sheet. OnJune 28, the company struck adeal with its lenders to extend its $750 million term loan andcreate a new $1.93 billion hybrid credit facility. The next day, Southwesternlaunched an offeringof 86,000,000 shares to raise cash for termloan repayment.

Southwestern stock traded at $12.82 going into theJune 15-30 period, peaked at $14.13 on June 21, then sunk back to $12.58 at theend of trading June 30.

Cheniere had the next-greatest decrease in shortinterest, falling 158 basis points to 8.09% held short. Following closely wasCheniere Energy Partners LPwith a short-interest decline of 135 basis points, to 4.26%.

As the review period began, Cheniere's announced that it dropped itsplans for truck loading facilities at the so it can focuson its liquefaction trains. Sabine Pass, the only major LNG exporting terminalin the U.S., snagged a court victory June 28 as a federal appeals court backedFERC's approval for aplanned expansion despite opposition from environmental groups.

Cheniere Energy shares performed well in the period,gaining from $32.50 after June 14's trading to $37.55 at the end of the month.

NGLEnergy Partners LP, TallgrassEnergy Partners LP and SemGroupCorp. had the greatest short-interest increases for the period,with each rising 52 basis points, to land at 2.86%, 3.75% and 7.85%,respectively.

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