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  • Writer's pictureShelly Albaum

Speculators Up to Their Old Tricks

I haven't updated the CDXC short interest versus share price chart since the short sellers flamed out on their Russell Delisting gambit, because who cares what these speculators are up to. But just for curiosity's sake, here is the updated story.

TL;DR -- In July and August, short sales crept back up, which appears to have been at least partially responsible for driving share price back down.

The Russell Delisting Gambit began around March. We can see during Period A a normal pattern of short interest increasing and share price decreasing.

Then there was the abnormal Period B, in which short interest increased, but price increased, too. This occurred because the positive price momentum from the Asian Investment overpowered the negative impact of the short selling.

But the shorts doubled down on the Russell Delisting Gambit, which gave us Period C, which saw a return to typical movements as shorts covered by buying 1.5M of the shares sold by Russell Index funds. Unfortunately for the speculators, the share price was already higher than when the short attack began, and rose further still. It looks like most of the shorts involved in the Russell Delisting Gambit covered at a higher price than they originally sold, which is why I wrote that the Shorts Got Burned.

Since then, the speculators have not lost interest in CDXC.

Instead, we have returned to a more normal pattern in Period D, in which about 400,000 net additional short sales have driven the price down, although some other factors might also have been involved, like (1) An earnings call announcing significant losses, and (2) Elysium's challenge to the Dartmouth patents.

There can be little doubt that the same kind of over-speculation that burned the shorts running the Russell Delisting Gambit was also at play around the earnings call, since the stock price before the bad earnings call dropped below $3 ($2.91 close moments before the earnings call began), then jumped back up well over $3, in fact being one of the market's "top gainers" the following day. It could be that the earnings call was better than expected, but that wasn't my read.

My guess: If they keep playing with fire, they are going to be burned again, and much worse next time.

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