Neither short sellers or longs to be found here anymore. I guess the longs hightailed it. The shorts are still in there based on the 9.8 million short interest. Any long that wanted to sell has had their shares bought by the company.
I suspect that shorts are waiting in the wings before reviving their smear campaign. I guess posting here for the shorts does not do it anymore as all the longs are gone and the "buyer" of the shares has been the company itself, and ESI isn't going to listen to the short sellers baloney.
It looks to me like the game plays out as follows. ESI just keeps on retiring shares at a rapid clip and the short interest continues to expand to even greater massive percentages as the shorts are unable to cover without a wholesale panic and an upwards share price explosion. At some point, ESI buybacks will reach a point where finding stock for sale at valuation levels of 6-7 times earnings is not possible and the share price will rise. If company fundamentals stabilize (as the company recently hinted at for the coming quarters) and/or improve, then some new retail buyers will show up and that will add the only tiny bit extra to really get ESI moving upwards.