SYBT: Insiders Vs. Shorts

The most recent short interest data was recently released by the NASDAQ for the 05/31/2013 settlement date, and S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. ( SYBT) is one of the most shorted stocks of the Russell 3000, based on 15.63 "days to cover" versus the median component at 4.86. There are a number of ways to look at short data, but one metric that we find particularly useful is the "days to cover" because it considers both the total shares short and the average daily volume of shares typically traded. The number of shares short is then divided by the average daily volume, to express the total number of trading days it would take to close out all of the open short positions if every share traded represented a short position being closed.

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In the case of S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. ( SYBT), the total short interest at the 05/31/2013 settlement date was 307,492 shares, which compares to the average daily trading volume of just 19,677 shares, for a "days to cover" ratio of 15.63.

When short sellers eventually cover their positions, by definition there must be buying activity because a share that is currently sold short must be purchased to be covered. At the present levels of short interest, if from this point forward every single SYBT share traded represented a short position being closed, then at the average daily volume of 19,677 shares it would only be during the 16th trading day that every short position would be closed.

So it would stand to reason that should some unexpectedly good news come out, and short sellers did not have 16 days of patience but instead wanted to cover their short positions very suddenly, that situation could result in sending the stock higher until the higher price produces enough sellers to generate the necessary volume to close out those positions quickly.

S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. ( SYBT) has something relatively rare for a stock with this much short interest, that being insiders taking the other side of the trade. Looking back over the trailing six month period, SYBT has seen 10 different instances of insider buying, as summarized by the table below:

Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
12/20/2012 Norman Tasman Director 177 $22.64 $3,999.99
12/20/2012 Nicholas X. Simon Director 66 $22.64 $1,499.99
12/20/2012 Stephen M. Priebe Director 133 $22.64 $3,000.00
12/20/2012 Richard Northern Director 155 $22.64 $3,500.01
12/20/2012 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 193 $22.64 $4,375.00
12/20/2012 Bruce P. Madison Director 155 $22.64 $3,500.01
12/24/2012 Carl G. Herde Director 1,108 $22.29 $24,687.49
12/20/2012 Charles R. Edinger III Director 193 $22.64 $4,375.00
12/31/2012 James A. Hillebrand President 2 $22.42 $49.77
01/02/2013 Carl G. Herde Director 60 $22.42 $1,345.04
01/02/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 119 $22.42 $2,674.93
01/02/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 4 $22.42 $78.67
01/02/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 55 $22.42 $1,239.60
01/02/2013 Norman Tasman Director 250 $22.42 $5,603.39
01/02/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 55 $22.42 $1,239.60
01/02/2013 Norman Tasman Director 250 $22.42 $5,603.39
01/02/2013 Nicholas X. Simon Director 75 $22.42 $1,679.71
01/02/2013 Richard Northern Director 25 $22.42 $566.26
01/02/2013 Bruce P. Madison Director 328 $22.42 $7,357.93
01/02/2013 David H. Brooks Director 12 $22.42 $279.89
01/24/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 101 $22.17 $2,249.99
01/24/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 101 $22.17 $2,249.99
02/21/2013 Norman Tasman Director 149 $22.55 $3,350.01
02/21/2013 Nicholas X. Simon Director 72 $22.55 $1,625.00
02/21/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 131 $22.55 $2,949.99
02/21/2013 Richard Northern Director 175 $22.55 $3,949.99
02/21/2013 Bruce P. Madison Director 184 $22.55 $4,149.99
02/21/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 153 $22.55 $3,449.99
02/21/2013 Carl G. Herde Director 65 $22.55 $1,475.00
02/21/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 144 $22.55 $3,250.00
03/12/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 22 $22.64 $500.00
03/12/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 22 $22.64 $500.00
03/12/2013 Norman Tasman Director 22 $22.64 $500.00
03/22/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 204 $22.68 $4,625.00
03/22/2013 Carl G. Herde Director 116 $22.68 $2,625.01
03/22/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 204 $22.68 $4,625.00
03/22/2013 Nicholas X. Simon Director 72 $22.68 $1,625.00
03/22/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 121 $22.68 $2,750.00
03/22/2013 Richard Northern Director 126 $22.68 $2,849.99
03/22/2013 Bruce P. Madison Director 152 $22.68 $3,449.99
03/22/2013 Norman Tasman Director 174 $22.68 $3,949.99
04/01/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 60 $22.41 $1,340.21
04/01/2013 James A. Hillebrand President 2 $22.41 $50.22
04/26/2013 Norman Tasman Director 175 $22.04 $3,849.99
04/26/2013 Nicholas X. Simon Director 96 $22.04 $2,125.01
04/26/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 179 $22.04 $3,950.01
04/26/2013 Richard Northern Director 197 $22.04 $4,349.99
04/26/2013 Bruce P. Madison Director 206 $22.04 $4,550.00
04/26/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 179 $22.04 $3,950.01
04/26/2013 Carl G. Herde Director 90 $22.04 $1,975.00
04/26/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 170 $22.04 $3,750.00
05/23/2013 Norman Tasman Director 118 $24.10 $2,849.99
05/23/2013 Nicholas X. Simon Director 59 $24.10 $1,425.01
05/23/2013 Stephen M. Priebe Director 114 $24.10 $2,750.00
05/23/2013 Richard Northern Director 118 $24.10 $2,849.99
05/23/2013 Bruce P. Madison Director 114 $24.10 $2,750.00
05/23/2013 Richard A. Lechleiter Director 52 $24.10 $1,249.99
05/23/2013 Carl G. Herde Director 57 $24.10 $1,375.00
05/23/2013 Charles R. Edinger III Director 93 $24.10 $2,250.00

Below is a chart showing the "days to cover" for SYBT over time:

Loading+chart++2013+TickerTech.com

And looking at the chart below, SYBT's low point in its 52 week range is $20.86 per share, with $25.29 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $23.25.

S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. Moving Averages Chart

In recent trading, shares of S.Y. Bancorp, Inc. ( SYBT) were changing hands at $23.25/share.

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