YORW: Insiders vs. Shorts

The most recent short interest data was recently released for the 03/31/2016 settlement date, and York Water Co (YORW) is one of the most shorted stocks of the Russell 3000, based on 9.55 "days to cover" versus the median component at 6.29. 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 York Water Co ( YORW), the total short interest at the 03/31/2016 settlement date was 309,945 shares, which compares to the average daily trading volume of just 32,467 shares, for a "days to cover" ratio of 9.55.

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 YORW share traded represented a short position being closed, then at the average daily volume of 32,467 shares it would only be during the 10th 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 10 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.

York Water Co ( YORW) 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, YORW has seen 12 different instances of insider buying, as summarized by the table below:

Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
01/15/2016 Jody L. Keller Director 5 $25.87 $138.24
01/15/2016 Michael W. Gang Director 61 $25.87 $1,574.21
01/15/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 29 $24.99 $720.88
01/15/2016 Robert P. Newcomer Director 31 $25.87 $807.14
01/15/2016 Ernest J. Waters Director 3 $25.87 $86.95
01/19/2016 Vernon L. Bracey Vice President - Customer Svc. 17 $24.15 $400.06
01/19/2016 Joseph Thomas Hand Chief Operating Officer 204 $24.71 $5,033.86
01/19/2016 Kathleen M. Miller Chief Financial Officer 221 $24.50 $5,410.23
01/19/2016 Bruce C. McIntosh VP Human Resources - Secretary 168 $24.56 $4,116.03
01/19/2016 Jeffrey R. Hines President & CEO 591 $25.18 $14,883.54
01/19/2016 John H. Strine Vice President - Operations 79 $24.67 $1,957.11
01/19/2016 Mark S. Snyder Vice President - Engineering 39 $24.41 $949.38
02/17/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 22 $27.68 $600.02
03/16/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 20 $29.60 $599.99
04/15/2016 Robert P. Newcomer Director 29 $28.09 $812.25
04/15/2016 Jody L. Keller Director 5 $28.09 $139.13
04/15/2016 Michael W. Gang Director 56 $28.09 $1,584.19
04/15/2016 Ernest J. Waters Director 3 $28.09 $87.49
04/15/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 25 $29.75 $729.16
04/18/2016 Vernon L. Bracey Vice President - Customer Svc. 14 $28.87 $402.72
04/18/2016 Jeffrey R. Hines President & CEO 528 $28.39 $14,980.36
04/18/2016 Joseph Thomas Hand Chief Operating Officer 174 $28.62 $4,982.93
04/18/2016 Bruce C. McIntosh VP Human Resources - Secretary 57 $28.33 $1,624.41
04/18/2016 John H. Strine Vice President - Operations 69 $28.62 $1,970.09
04/18/2016 Mark S. Snyder Vice President - Engineering 33 $28.75 $955.74
04/18/2016 Kathleen M. Miller Chief Financial Officer 152 $28.66 $4,366.31
05/11/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 21 $29.19 $600.01
05/16/2016 Jeffrey R. Hines President & CEO 30 $29.28 $878.40
05/18/2016 Jody L. Keller Director 517 $29.00 $14,999.95
06/15/2016 Steven R. Rasmussen Director 20 $29.54 $600.00

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

Loading+chart++2016+TickerTech.com

And looking at the chart below, YORW's low point in its 52 week range is $19.69 per share, with $33.40 as the 52 week high point — that compares with a last trade of $31.45.

York Water Co Moving Averages Chart

In recent trading, shares of York Water Co ( YORW) were changing hands at $31.45/share.

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