My Bloomberg shows as of 12/02 institutions owned 19,600,000 shares, and the largest holder, Safeco posted its March 2003 holdings at 3,074,000 shares. There are 21,290,000 shares in float and as of 4/03/03 there were 9,210,000 in shorts.
Mr. Ichan and his bunch has to be looking at this, especially after the Aetna news and the sales which were a lot better than expected. When the lenders ask for their stock back this could be interwesting.
innsbrooklad: Institutional holdings as of March 31 are supposed to reported by May 15. The reports dribble in and get complied as they arrive. At the present time, with about a tnird of the institutions having reported and been counted, the institutional holdings are 23.7 mm shares, or 110.5% of the 21 mm outstanding. As the rest report over the next several days, that number will fluctuate some but will almost certainly end up higher than at the end of Dec., when it totaled about 22.7 mm shares.
Because institutions, in general. permit their holdings to be borrowed for shorting, those holdings have no direct effect on squeezing shorts. Of couse, the reason that the holdings can total more than the shares outstanding is because the available shares are the outstanding plus the total of the shares short, or at this point something over 30 mm shares. As I said above, the buying by institutions won't of itself trigger a short squeeze, but these very large holdings do make it quite difficult for the shorts to cover without driving the price a whole lot higher. When we get the short report as of the 15th, on about the 25th, it will be interesting to see if shorting has continued to accumlate. I suspect that the total is now North of 10 mm.
I lend shares..The fun begins when lenders ask for their shares back. As of Friday my lending group said CPTS were not available and four firms were looking to borrow shares.
A lot of institutions are now being required to show the contingency of lent shares in their material to customers. I look forward to some of those reports. The make up of the owners of the stock is quite interesting. CALPERS as of 3/2003 just became a sizable owner. Maybe they can talk to Kaiser Permanente.
I think there may be some boxed shorts who may now be underwater and may just get their stock back and leave. But I do think you are correct about the total. And it is quite ludicrous to be short that many shares.