Short Seller Moves in Alt Energy Stocks (FSLR, SPWRA, ENER, LDK, TSL, TSLA, RBCN, VECO, CREE, CPST, AMAT, GTAT)

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In the wake of the weak global economic news, some alternative energy stocks are being swept along in the current of bad news, while a few others are making a bit of a comeback. Overall, though, short interest in these alt energy stocks remains quite high.

In the solar sector, short interest in First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) rose by 10.5% in the week ending August 31st, to 18.85 million shares, or nearly 32% of the stock’s float. Short interest in SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWRA) fell by -4.1%, to 7.22 million shares, or 28% of the stock’s float. Short interest in Energy Conversion Devices, Inc. (NASDAQ: ENER) rose slightly, 0.6%, to 14.31 million shares, or 25% of the stock’s float. Short interest in LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) fell by -20%, to 29.28 million shares. LDK’s days to cover is 11. Short interest in Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) rose 23.8%, to 20.54 million shares and days to cover is 5.

Among the leaders in short interest is Tesla Motors, Inc., with 22.9 million shares short, or 43% of the float. Days to cover Tesla stock is a very high 31.

The LED lighting sector has also attracted short attention. Short interest in Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ: RBCN) fell -2.5%, to 5.46 million shares, but that’s still more than 31% of the float held by shorts. Days to cover is 14. Short interest in Cree Inc. (NASDAQ: CREE) rose 9.2%, to 20.58 million shares, 19.3% of the company’s float. Short interest in Veeco Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: VECO) fell by -7.7%, to 10.96 million shares, or 27% of the stock’s float.

Turbine maker Capstone Turbine Corp. (NASDAQ) saw short interest rise by just 0.7%, to 42.48 million shares, or 16.5% of float. Days to cover is 18.

Semiconductor equipment makers Applied Materials, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMAT) and GT Advanced Technologies, Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) both saw drops in short interest. Applied’s short interest fell to 23 million shares, just 1.8% of its float. GT’s short interest fell to 22.23 million shares, which is 18% of the stock’s float. GT’s days to cover is 18.

Data from Nasdaq and NYSE.

Paul Ausick