Are Short Sellers Losing Interest Solar Energy Stocks?

Print Email

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on August 31. Of the companies we watch, short interest fell on three of four solar stocks and rose on three of four alt energy stocks.

Solar stocks are seeing a pullback in short interest after significant share price drops in mid-August. In the past three months, the four solar stocks we track have dropped with a range of more than 14% to more than 38%. The drop has tapered off and short interest is waning in the stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest tumble by 14.6% to 12.6 million shares, which represents 16.8% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from two to five. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price fell by 2.5%. Its 52-week trading range is $36.37 to $74.29, and it closed at $37.43 on Monday, up about 0.8% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest dropped by 7.6% to 15.45 million shares, or 26.4% of the company’s float. In the two-week period to August 31, the share price fell by about 8.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $9.02 to $31.10, and it closed at $9.41 on Monday, down 1.1% for the day after posting the new 52-week low. Days to cover rose from three to six.

SolarCity saw short interest drop by 6.3% to 18.66 million shares, 28.4% of the company’s total float. Days to cover increased from seven to 11. In the short interest period, the share price fell by 12.8%. The stock’s 52-week range is $16.31 to $58.87, and shares closed at $17.80 on Monday, up more than 6% for the day.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a rise of 25.9% in short interest during the two weeks. Some 17.5% of the total float, 7.76 million shares, were short, and days to cover remained unchanged at two. The company’s share price fell by about 0.2% over the period, and shares closed Monday at $13.02, down about 0.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $12.12 to $29.83.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 3.3% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 4.45 million shares were short as of August 31. The stock closed at $5.13 on Monday, down about 1% for the day, in a 52-week range of $4.51 to $12.24. Shares dropped about 0.8% in the short interest period, and days to cover rose from 10 to 12.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest increase by 1.7% to 30.33 million shares. Days to cover fell from 23 to 18, and about 17% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to August 31, the stock’s share price fell by about 8.3%. Its 52-week range is $1.30 to $2.98, and shares closed Monday at $1.42, up about 3.7% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a jump of 23.5% in short interest to 8.61 million shares. About 8% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover remained unchanged at two. Shares rose by nearly 27% in the period to August 31. The stock closed at $4.52, up about 1.1%, on Monday in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $6.44.

Pacific Ethanol saw short interest fall by 11.9% in the final weeks of the month to 3.72 million shares, about 9.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at six. The stock price fell by 2.4% in the two weeks to August 31. Shares closed at $6.65 on Monday, up 3.1%% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $7.64.