One can argue anything they wish regarding short positions taken in a stock. While it is true that many different complex strategies may be employed in the market such as covered calls, butterflies, collars, etc., there is one indisputable fact. When one takes up a short position in a stock or call option, that short position is either right, or wrong.
And it's only "right" if the underlying security goes down.
Every two weeks Nasdaq releases a bi weekly report on short data, and for the week ending May 15th, short interest in Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) stood at just over 379 million shares sold short.
It should be clear to see that this data has remained steady for the last six weeks. So what's the score? Have these positions been winning or losing plays over that period?
Consider Sirius XM's chart for the time period above.
From a low of $2.97 per share to Friday's closing high of $3.58, these positions are under water with a loss of over 20%. How much is that in raw cash? To cover today at $3.58 those short at $2.97 would need to pony up an additional $232 million.
I've written repeatedly, for over a year now, that shorts should cover to limit losses going forward. I've written repeatedly that those employing a short in Sirius XM as part of a hedging strategy may as well cover and remove the losing end of that hedge.
So what could the shorts be thinking? Foolish notions such as the demise of satellite radio at the hands of the connected car that will take 10+ years to permeate the American public in large enough numbers? Perhaps they have been thinking things like 'fiscal cliff' and 'Cyprus' and 'sequester.' Or maybe they have been hooked on that catchy little rhyme 'sell in May and go away' that is repeated mindlessly with less frequency as the days in May dwindle.
With Sirius XM facing another share price increase to $3.75 or higher any day now, and with Sirius XM on track to reach my end of year $4.25 price target, I maintain my stance that shorts should cover sooner rather than later.
Short Sirius XM is a losing game, and that will not change any time soon. The company has been performing at or better than guidance for years now. With a $2 billion buyback program in place raising the floor and popping shares higher for the foreseeable future, it makes no sense to be short Sirius XM.
Disclosure: I am long SIRI. I wrote this article myself, and it expresses my own opinions. I am not receiving compensation for it (other than from Seeking Alpha). I have no business relationship with any company whose stock is mentioned in this article.
Additional disclosure: I am long SIRI January 2014 $2 and $2.50 calls. I regularly day trade SIRI shares on margin. I will be liquidating my SIRI position in order to enter into other plays in early June.