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Under the right conditions, incredible strides can be made by simply standing still.
Technically speaking, Silvercorp Metals (NYSE: SVM ) has gone nowhere fast over the past few trading sessions. But when observed within the context of the sharp and destructive selloff that has battered silver stocks over that time, the ability of Silvercorp's shares to hold the line while those of its peers collapsed marks a truly noteworthy achievement.
The following five-day chart from Yahoo! Finance shows recent highflyer First Majestic Silver (NYSE: AG ) shedding some 17%, Silver Wheaton (NYSE: SLW ) and Endeavour Silver (NYSE: EXK ) each careening lower by more than 20%, and Great Panther Silver (AMEX: GPL ) faring slightly worse still. Needless to say, this long-term silver bull considers all four stocks outstanding values amid the selloff.
Meanwhile, an outlying 24% retreat for the iShares Silver Trust (NYSE: SLV ) thus far distinguishes this correction from prior selloffs where mining equities had tended to fall farther and faster than prices for the underlying metal. Correspondingly, as of Friday the silver-bullion proxy had seen none of the significant outflows that one might expect to have accompanied such a severe and sudden price drop.
What makes the relatively stable performance by shares of Silvercorp Metals so very remarkable is that the company had recently been under concerted attack by anonymous individuals leveling serious allegations that briefly rattled the nerves of longstanding investors. I did my part to help set the record straight after the company revealed the existence of the first anonymous letter earlier this month, but of course the company itself deserves all the credit for mounting a rapid, transparent, and highly effective refutation of the various allegations on the company's website.
Having exhaustively reviewed the publicly available claims and supporting documents from both sides of the discussion, it is the concerted opinion of this Fool that Silvercorp Metals will continue to emerge from the allegations of these anonymous short traders with its reputation and credibility intact. I also note with interest the disclosure from the anonymous entity Alfred Little circulated last Thursday, stating that because of "a lack of ability to borrow SVM shares to sell short, contributors to today's report currently have no position in SVM but may initiate new positions at any time." That is certainly encouraging news for Silvercorp investors like myself, and it may help to explain the stock's noteworthy resilience in recent days -- although it doesn't necessarily mean the short-attack is yet complete.
I believe the longs will carry the day here, though the road ahead could be fraught with volatility. Although I reduced my own position slightly to favor silver stocks that are not in the crosshairs of vocal shorts, I must say … the stock's performance over the past few sessions thus far has me second-guessing that decision. But I'm more interested to know how you've reacted to this complex and fluid situation. Are you long, short, or sticking to the sidelines? Post your comments below, and to follow this developing story, be sure to add Silvercorp Metals to your Watchlist.