Short Interest in Solar, Alt Energy Stocks Slips

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Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on November 30. Of the companies we watch, short interest fell on two of three solar stocks and on three of four alternative energy stocks.

The biggest share price move during the two-week period came at Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) where the stock gained nearly $3.50 a share following the U.S. EPA’s final rule on blending requirements for 2017. A record U.S. corn harvest is also keeping input prices low. As much as President-Elect Donald Trump might wish to raise U.S. production of fossil fuels, cutting ethanol requirements means reducing Midwest growers’ sales to the ethanol market, as well as even lower corn prices.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest slip by 2% to 17.4 million shares, which represents about 23.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from three to four. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price fell by more than 8%. Its 52-week trading range is $28.60 to $74.29, and shares closed at $33.54 on Friday, up about 1.1% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest decreased by 15.7% to 27.14 million shares, or 29.4% of the company’s float. In the short interest period, the share price fell by about 1.7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.00 to $31.10, and it closed at $7.65 on Friday, up about 0.8%. Days to cover rose from six to nine.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a rise of 7.6% in short interest during the period Some 16.5% of the total float, 7.31 million shares, were short, and days to cover rose from three to four. The company’s share price fell by about 3% over the two weeks, and shares closed Friday at $12.78, up about 1% for the day. The 52-week range is $10.25 to $29.83.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a decrease of 12.6% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 3.93 million shares were short as of November 30. The stock closed at $2.10 on Friday, up about 2.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.90 to $8.88. Shares dropped nearly 29% in the short interest period, and days to cover remained unchanged at six.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest increase by 3% to 32.04 million shares. Days to cover fell from nine to eight, and about 17.9% of the company’s shares were short. In the final two weeks of November, the stock’s share price fell by 9.6%. Its 52-week range is $1.18 to $2.35, and shares closed Friday at $1.43, down about 6.5% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a drop of about 14.3% in short interest to 9.16 million shares. About 8.5% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover rose from four to seven. The share price rose by about 0.6% in the two-week period. On Friday, the stock closed at $3.45, down about 1.2%, in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $4.80.

Pacific Ethanol saw short interest drop by 25.2% in the period to 1.79 million shares, about 4.6% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at three. The stock price jumped by nearly 38% by November 30. Shares closed at $9.60 on Friday, down about 2.5% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $10.00. The high was posted early Friday morning.