Short Interest in Solar Energy Companies Lacks Direction

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We have tracked the short interest in the following North American Solar companies as of April 30: 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 rise by 8.3% to 2.08 million shares, about 6.8% of the company’s total float.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) short interest drop by 7.4% to 17.07 million shares, which represents 28.1% of the company’s float.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) showed an increase of 8% in short interest to 41.34 million shares, about 34.9% of GT’s float.

MEMC Electronic Materials Inc. (NYSE: WFR) showed an increase of 8% in short interest to 16.88 million shares, or about 7.3% of MEMC’s float.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw short interest rise by 4.1% to 9.52 million shares, or 23.9% of the company’s total float.

JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) showed a drop of 17% in short interest to 2.21 million shares.

LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) saw short interest fall by 11.9% to 3.03 million shares.

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) showed a rise of 11.2% in short interest to 18.46 million shares.

Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) saw a short interest decline of 2.3% to 15.79 million shares.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) showed a drop of 0.3% in short interest to 7.51 million shares.

In the prior two-week period, Yingli’s short interest rose by 50%. In the most recent two weeks, the very modest rise appears to have drawn a line on just how bad investors think the company’s prospects are. The decline in short interest in LDK is likely due to a lack of fallout from its missed debt repayment. The company may be able to hold on, but that is still questionable. So far the government has not ridden to the rescue for either company, but the thinking may be that it is about to do so.