Short Interest in Solar Stocks Fell, but Was It Too Soon?

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Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks mostly increased during the two-week reporting period that ended on December 31. In the solar sector, two of the five companies we watch saw short interest rise. Two of four alt energy stocks also saw an increase in short interest during the period.

While share prices for the solar energy-related firms rose in the two-week period, recent price movements have been negative. This could well be due to the falling price of crude oil, because oil drives the energy sector and the big drop we’ve seen in crude prices so far in 2016 will affect all types of energy.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest decrease by 7.1% to 4.96 million shares, which represents 6.7% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at two. In the two-week short interest period through December 31, the stock’s share price rose about 13%. Its 52-week trading range is $39.18 to $72.12, and it closed at $65.22 on Tuesday, down about 0.3% for the day.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed a decrease of 10.7% in short interest to 109.93 million shares. About 35% of the company’s float was short, and the days to cover remained flat at two. In the latest two-week short interest reporting period, the share price rose by nearly 16%. The stock closed at $3.02 on Tuesday, down about 9.6% for the day and in a 52-week trading range of $2.36 to $33.45. The recovery in the prior two-week short interest period did not last. The company’s debt restructuring announced last week is not popular, and short sellers who bailed out at the end of December are probably regretting it today.


SunPower Corp.‘s (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose by 15.9% to 10.83 million shares, or 18.9% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose by about 29%. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $18.25 to $35.11, and it closed at $24.31 on Tuesday, down about 3.7% for the day. The days to cover rose from three to four.