The past year and a half have been murder on solar PV makers. Share prices have fallen as much as 80% due to oversupply. Short interest in the solar stocks would seem to be tempered by a conclusion that these stocks are down so far that the only possible move is up. But that does not appear to be the case.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) is the only solar stock we are looking at here that has made a serious upward move in its share price in the past month. But short interest in the stock is also up by 4.5% to 29.3 million shares. There are plenty of traders who do not believe the share price hike will hold.
Three other stocks, LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK), Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) and Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) also saw a rise in short interest as of July 31st. Short interest in LDK rose 2.3% to 10.7 million shares, and short interest in Trina was up 3.2% to 13.5 million shares. The biggest gain went to Suntech, up 5.7%, or 19.96 million shares short.
The companies where short interest fell include Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR), JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ),and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE).
Short interest in SunPower fell by 0.64% to 4.05 million shares. Given the weakish earnings results announced earlier this week and the lowered guidance, the short interest could tick up in the next report. Short interest in Yingli Green Energy fell by 1.4% to 6.25 million shares, and at 3 days to cover, the company has the lowest cover ratio of this group.
Short interest in JA Solar fell 2.6% to 10.14 million shares, and short interest in Canadian Solar fell the most, 6% to 3.76 million shares.