Are Short Sellers Losing Interest in Solar Energy Stocks?

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Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on October 14. Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on two of four solar stocks and on two of four alternative energy stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 7.8% to 14.5 million shares, which represents about 21% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from four to six. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price rose by about 1%. Its 52-week trading range is $33.74 to $74.29, and it closed at $40.68 on Tuesday, down about 0.5% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest increased by 12.5% to 17.29 million shares, or 26.3% of the company’s float. In the two-week period to October 14, the share price fell by 8.4%. The stock’s 52-week range is $7.37 to $31.10, and it closed at $8.39 on Tuesday, down about 0.5%. Days to cover rose from four to seven.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw short interest decrease 4.1% to 23.87 million shares, about 33.5% of the company’s total float. Days to cover rose from seven to 11. In the short interest period, the share price rose by 1.6%. The stock’s 52-week range is $16.20 to $58.87, and shares closed at $19.72 on Tuesday, down about 1.2% for the day.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a drop of nearly 15% in short interest during the two weeks to October 14. Some 14.9% of the total float, 6.9 million shares, were short, and days to cover remained unchanged at four. The company’s share price rose by more than 6% over the period, and shares closed Tuesday at $15.22, down about 1.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $11.72 to $29.83.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 0.3% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 4.78 million shares were short as of October 14. The stock closed at $3.75 on Tuesday, down nearly 28% for the day, in a 52-week range of $3.10 to $12.24, and the low was posted Tuesday. Shares dropped about 6.5% in the short interest period, and days to cover fell from 12 to 10. Tuesday’s big drop came on news that the company had not been selected for a contract in New England.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest decrease by 5.2% to 29.79 million shares. Days to cover remained jumped from 14 to 25, and about 16.7% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to October 14, the stock’s share price fell by nearly 8%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.30 to $2.98, and shares closed Tuesday at $1.57, down about 3.1% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a decline of about 3.9% in short interest to 10.15 million shares. About 8.9% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover rose from five to seven. The share price fell by about 3.2% in the two weeks. The stock closed at $4.29, down about 1.6%, on Tuesday, in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $6.20.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest fall by nearly 19% in the two-week period to 2.78 million shares, about 10% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from eight to six. The stock price rose by nearly 8% in the two weeks. Shares closed at $7.50 on Tuesday, up about 1.4% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $7.70, and the high was posted Tuesday.