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Orient Paper: Not a Short Squeeze, Yet

Some people are under the impression that this sizable rally might have been due to some short covering. I have confirmed that this (as of Friday) is not the case (or if so only minimally). For any given stock, there are a limited number of total shares that can be shorted. Today, I called three different brokers to ask about the continued possibility of shorting ONP by short sellers. In all three cases, I found out it is now the case that there is now no more "stock borrow" meaning that investors have already shorted all of the shares which are available to be shorted. Call your broker and give it a try.

There are two implications to this. First, the shorts no longer have ammunition to drive the share price lower. Second, the existing short position is huge and short sellers will have to buy back their positions, driving up the price of the stock. Clearly, they have not unwound their short positions yet. Both of these should contribute to a short squeeze which could make for a meteoric rise in the stock price. I am predicting at least 30%-40% in the short term. They have clearly been waiting for the release of the final report in order to cover so we could see it this week. I guess you have to give them credit for their tenacity if not for their common sense.

The impending short squeeze could be very painful for shorts. Investors may remember when the stock was driven down to $4.11 on the morning of Monday, July 1. On that same day, ONP came out with a detailed point by point response to the allegations, driving the stock to a high of $7.79 the next day. A swing of 90% in 24 hours! A power rally like that is often the sign of short covering, and given the high short interest in ONP, I am expecting short cover to make a substantial contribution to the rally. The current rally is simply not ferocious enough to be a short squeeze and the volume has not been indicative of a short squeeze either.

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