You have this fixation on shorts. The fact is the short position on this stock has fluctuated very little on a monthly basis over the past few years regardless of the fluctuation in stock price. That means either:
A. Some one or some number of people have a permanent short position on Conn's, perhaps as a hedge or B. There are always plenty of people willing to short as the stock rises.
Conn's didn't trade at $20 when the EPS projection was $1.85. Why would it go for $20 with an EPS estimate of 80 cents?