One of the dangers of writing these things -- and especially when one finds an intelligent person who shares one's outlook -- is that one starts to REALLY believe a stance that has a lot of guesswork in it.
Anyhow, I was so shocked that ADVS was over $13 early in the day yesterday that I shorted more shares. I had a meeting in the afternoon and picked $12.58 for an intra-day "cover." It hit it, moved back to alomst $13 and then must have had 20 downticks til the close.
Now, one wonders whether all the sellers have been accommodated (I mean "basically") or whether there's hundreds of thousands of shares "taxi-ing." I guess I'll short more if it somehow gets up to $13, but I welcome other thoughts. ... BTW, even without a buyback, this IS a company with oodles of cash and not really "burning it" even in this bad year, so I'm beginning to wonder if the downside is as big as you (and I to some extent) "predict."
I *DO* look to a major UP stock market move and ADVS could go from doghouse to head-of-the-table pretty quickly in that event.
I usually don't "trade" positions so my approach may be a little different than yours. In my view, this company is a classic long term short. I have no idea when the support at the 12-13 range will break, but when it does, it will likely fall quickly. I sometimes hold short positions for a long time. The stock may be volatile in the interim, but over the longer term, it is clearly heading down. There is no substance to it, beyond the cash.
I don't usually trade 'em either. Plus, we seem to be in full accord on this one. (Well, I don't think you addressed my concern about a merger -- looks like too many players in the "field," and there are probably a lot of folks who'd jump up & down [probably are doing just that out of our sight] for a $15 deal.)
Anyhow, I'll trade you my other favorite short -- very different from ADVS -- DCOM -- a bank in NY that I don't think reflects the very tough times my city & state are facing