Shorting Solar Stocks No Longer the National Pastime (CSIQ, FSLR, GTAT, WFR, SPWR, JASO, LDK, STP, TSL, YGE)

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We have tracked the short interest in the following North American Solar companies as of November 15: Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT), MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) and Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR). In the Chinese solar sector we tracked the following short interest changes: JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK), Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP), Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE).

For China-based firms, the percentage of shares short is not available because the companies are also listed on other exchanges.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw short interest rise 0.8% to 3.3 million shares, or 10.9% of the company’s total float.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) short interest fell by 8.4% to 25.86 million shares, which represents 43.1% of the company’s float.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) showed an increase of 5.6% in short interest, to 37.69 million shares, about 31.9% of GT’s float.

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) showed a rise of 5.8% in short interest, to 24.29 million shares, about 10.6% of MEMC’s float.

Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw short interest rise by 8.4% to 4.39 million shares, or 11.1% of the company’s total float.

JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) showed an increase of 3.5% in short interest, to 8.8 million shares.

LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) saw short interest drop 0.1% to 6.99 million shares.

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) showed a rise of 3% in short interest, to 19.48 million shares.

Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) saw short interest rise 3.2% to 14.91 million shares.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) showed a drop of 7.2% in short interest, to 5.92 million shares.

It is hard to imagine how the situation in the solar sector could get worse, and that is what probably has kept short sellers at bay recently. A potential threat for the current period is that Germany will eliminate all subsidies for big solar projects in 2013. That is not good for First Solar, a big-project company with interests in Germany.

Paul Ausick

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