Well a hedge fund manager we called Bob, facing a share buyback and running out of scare tactics on retail longs, still refuses to cover, but can't seem to push the price any lower. He gets a few hundred thousand shares ready to sell after earnings. Yeah, the price goes up a dollar, but it's still low. Earnings come showing a healthy company, but those recently freed up shares are quick to stifle any movement. Now the stare down, a hedge fund versus a company buyback and a loyal following. Two months drag on, at least the mutual funds are staying clear. Two weeks until first quarter earnings and the sides become unbalanced when the buyback blinks and leaves. Blink, back to mid sixes. Time for Bob to free up some more shares before earnings and push it right back into the mid to high sevens. Will the company make an exciting enough announcement to scare Bob for good? Will the stare down continue for a few more months? Well, I have 30 years, good luck out waiting me.
Bob has his Bashing manager Jordan working hard trying to free up those shares before earnings, but is not finding many to buy. Bob seems less willing to push the price up this quarter and is looking to have less than 200k shares to play with on the 3rd. This means it will take even a smaller earnings surprise/announcement to start a rally. Still, I'd give it only a 30% chance that happens. Maybe a 30+ million buyback or product in Apple stores would do it. Otherwise the hold period continues until a fund starts buying or Bob gives in.