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FBNC: Insiders vs. Shorts

By Market News Video Staff, Tuesday, March 13, 2:22 PM ET
Play Video: What Short Interest Means

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The most recent short interest data was recently released for the 02/28/2018 settlement date, and First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) is one of the most shorted stocks of the Russell 3000, based on 4.59 "days to cover" versus the median component at 4.17. 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.

In the case of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC), the total short interest at the 02/28/2018 settlement date was 332,651 shares, which compares to the average daily trading volume of just 72,541 shares, for a "days to cover" ratio of 4.59.

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 FBNC share traded represented a short position being closed, then at the average daily volume of 72,541 shares it would only be during the 5th 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 5 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.

First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) 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, FBNC has seen 2 different instances of insider buying, as summarized by the table below:

Purchased Insider Title Shares Price/Share Value
12/20/2017 Richard H. Moore Chief Executive Officer 2,755 $36.00 $99,180.00
12/28/2017 Abby Jill Donnelly Director 500 $35.72 $17,860.00

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

And looking at the chart below, FBNC's low point in its 52 week range is $27.50 per share, with $41.76 as the 52 week high point that compares with a last trade of $37.60.

First Bancorp  Moving Averages Chart

In recent trading, shares of First Bancorp (NASDAQ:FBNC) were changing hands at $37.60/share.

This Article's Word Cloud:   Abby   Bancorp   FBNC   First   average   because   being   below   buying   chart   close   closed   compares   cover   daily   data   date   days   every   fillColor   higher   interest   most   must   number   over   period   point   position   positions   recent   represented   sellers   settlement   share   shares   short   stock   that   their   then   this   total   trade   traded   trading   volume   week   with   would
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