Short Sellers Flee Solar Stocks, Load Up on Alternative Fuels

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

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest decrease by 5.8% to 12.44 million shares, which represents about 16.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from six to five. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price added about 10%. Its 52-week trading range is $25.56 to $49.50, and it closed at $41.79 on Wednesday, up nearly 5% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest decreased by 2.9% to 18.46 million shares, or 31.3% of the company’s float. In the short interest period, the share price rose by 15.7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $5.84 to $16.41, and it closed at $10.16 on Wednesday, up more than 12% for the day. Days to cover fell from 11 to five.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a drop of 12.1% in short interest during the period. Some 14.7% of the total float, or 6.53 million shares, were short, and days to cover fell from six to three. The company’s share price soared by nearly 23% over the two weeks, and shares closed Wednesday at $16.37, up about 4% for the day. The 52-week range is $10.25 to $16.62, and the high was set yesterday.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a decrease of 16.5% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 5.98 million shares were short as of June 30. The stock closed at $1.37 on Wednesday, flat for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.80 to $5.67. Shares rose about 7.8% in the short interest period, and days to cover fell from eight to four.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest rise by 3.7% to 38.63 million shares. Days to cover remained unchanged at six, and about 17.5% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to June 30, the share price fell by nearly 2%. The stock’s 52-week range is $0.83 to $2.70, and shares closed Wednesday at $2.06, up about 1.5% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw an increase of about 14.9% in short interest to 9.6 million shares. About 7.5% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover fell from eight to seven. The share price rose by about 0.8% by June 30. The stock closed at $2.75 on Wednesday, up 1.1%, in a 52-week range of $2.18 to $4.80.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 57.3% in the two-week period to 1.84 million shares, about 4.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from two to three. The stock price added about 2.5% between the settlement dates. Shares closed at $6.25 on Wednesday, down about 0.8% on the day, in a 52-week range of $5.62 to $10.95.