We have tracked the short interest in the following North American Solar companies as of March 28: Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT), MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) and SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR).
In the Chinese solar sector we tracked the following short interest changes: JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO), LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK), Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP), Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) and Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE).
For China-based firms, the percentage of shares short is not available because the companies are also listed on other exchanges.
Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw short interest drop by 6% to 2.02 million shares, which is about 6.6% of the company’s total float.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) short interest fell by 10.8% to 16.43 million shares, which represents 27.3% of the company’s float.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) showed an increase of 0.8% in short interest to 40.57 million shares, about 34.3% of GT’s float.
MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) showed a decline of 6.4% in short interest to 15.41 million shares, about 6.7% of MEMC’s float.
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw short interest fall by 17.6% to 6.87 million shares, or 17.3% of the company’s total float.
JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) showed a drop of 6.1% in short interest to 3.18 million shares.
LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) saw short interest rise by 0.2% to 3.42 million shares.
Short interest in Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) declined 45.3% to 14.24 million shares.
Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) saw short interest retreat 0.7% to 19.14 million shares.
Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) showed a short interest drop of 11.9% to 4.99 million shares.
Suntech’s bankruptcy filing in the second half of March cooled the ardor of short sellers for the Chinese solar stocks. Instead of piling in, short interest either declined or rose modestly in all the Chinese stocks.
The next report on short interest should reverse what we have seen today. First Solar gave the entire sector a lift yesterday when it boosted its outlook for 2013 and share prices rose dramatically. Anyone caught short yesterday in any solar stock very likely got a bad sunburn. But nothing much has really changed in the sector: module prices are a little more stable but remain low, and government support for solar installations is not growing. Look for the shorts to wade back in.