Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Getting More Bearish On YRCW Is Now Impossible

That headline is not an attempt at reverse psychology.  Today I decided to find out whether I could either short shares of YRC Worldwide or buy puts to bet on further price declines.  Borrowing shares to short through my brokerage proved impossible; I would probably need some kind of special connection directly to a market-making specialist firm to make it happen.  My brokerage's order system wouldn't let me buy puts, not even ones out to the farthest expiration date.  I found that odd as those puts have clearly visible ask prices.

It is now technically impossible for those bearish on YRCW's prospects to get any more bearish using widely available financial instruments.  Check out the existing short interest on the stock.  There are 59M short shares against an outstanding share count of 6.8M.  The overwhelming short interest has maxed out the market's ability to accommodate investor interest.  That should be unsurprising for a company with an EPS of -$720.  That is a remarkably negative achievement.  Think about how far in the hole a company would have to be with results so poor, and so obvious.

I should have shorted this stock in early 2010.  Sometimes waiting for easy money makes me wait too long.

Full disclosure:  No position in YRCW/YRCWD at this time.