Why Short Interest in Solar Stocks May Jump Following Presidential Election

Print Email

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

The results of Tuesday’s presidential election sent solar and alternative stocks plunging on Wednesday. President-Elect Donald Trump has indicated that he favors development of fossil fuel and an end to incentives for alternative energy development. Even after Wednesday’s bloodbath in solar stocks, the sell-off may still have a ways to run.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by less than 0.1% to 14.5 million shares, which represents about 19% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at six. In the two-week short interest period through October 31, the stock’s share price rose by about 4.7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $30.85 to $74.29, and it closed most recently at $32.10, down about 4.2% for the day. The 52-week low was posted on Wednesday.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest increased by 3.5% to 17.89 million shares, or 30.6% of the company’s float. In the final weeks of last month, the share price fell by 11.7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.00 to $31.10, and it closed at $6.30 on Wednesday, down about 14.2%. The low was posted yesterday. Days to cover rose from four to seven.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw short interest increase 2.2% to 24.39 million shares, about 37.1% of the company’s total float. Days to cover fell from 11 to eight. 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 $20.01 Wednesday night, down about 4% for the day.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a drop of 0.5% in short interest by the end of October. Some 15.5% of the total float, 6.9 million shares, were short, and days to cover rose from four to seven. The company’s share price fell by about 4.3% over the period, and shares closed Wednesday at $11.52, down about 13.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $10.25 to $29.83. The 52-week low was posted yesterday.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 7.5% in short interest during the two week. Some 5.14 million shares were short as of October 31. The stock closed at $3.05 on Wednesday, up about 1.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $2.70 to $10.68. Shares dropped about 32% in the short interest period, and days to cover fell from 10 to five.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest increase by 2.3% to 30.48 million shares. Days to cover rose from 25 to 31, and about 17.1% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to October 31, the stock’s share price fell by 6.7%. Its 52-week range is $1.18 to $2.35. and shares closed Wednesday at $1.25, down about 0.8% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a rise of about 3.3% in short interest to 10.49 million shares. About 9.8% of the company’s float was short and days to cover rose from seven to nine. The share price fell by about 4% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $3.76, up about 4.2%, on Wednesday in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $5.24.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 3.2% in the two-week period to 2.87 million shares, about 7.5% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at eight. The stock price rose by about 4.6% in the two weeks to October 31. Shares closed at $6.45 on Wednesday, down about 6.5% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $7.70.