Short Interest Picks Up in Some Chinese Solar Energy Companies

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We have tracked the short interest in the following North American Solar companies as of June 14: Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ), First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR), GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT), SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) 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 9.8% to 2.42 million shares, or about 8% of the company’s total float.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) short interest dropped by 5.3% to 14.59 million shares, which represents 21% of the company’s float.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) showed an increase of 1.4% in short interest to 49.66 million shares, about 42.1% of GT’s float.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed a decrease of 9.9% in short interest to 18.33 million shares. SunEdison is the new name for MEMC Electronic Materials. The name change took effect June 3.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw short interest rise 2.8% to 12 million shares, or 29% of the company’s total float.

JA Solar Holdings Co. Ltd. (NASDAQ: JASO) showed a rise of 35.3% in short interest to 3.37 million shares.

LDK Solar Co. Inc. (NYSE: LDK) saw short interest rise by 17.2% to 3.46 million shares.

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. (NYSE: STP) showed a rise of 2.5% in short interest to 18.51 million shares.

Trina Solar Ltd. (NYSE: TSL) saw a short interest rise of 3.9% to 12.8 million shares.

Yingli Green Energy Holding Co. Ltd. (NYSE: YGE) showed a rise of 20.1% in short interest to 9.31 million shares.

Short interest in First Solar continues to decline, while shorts maintain their focus on SunPower. Nearly a third of SunPower’s shares are now short, and just looking at the share price chart for the past 12 months indicates that the shorts may be on to something here.

The big change in short interest for the Chinese makers is the sharp jump at both JA Solar and Yingli Green Energy. For the short sellers who jumped on JA Solar in late May, the payoff has been good because the stock has dropped by about a third. Yingli’s slide has been smaller, but still more than 15%. The Chinese government’s recently announced support for new solar projects in the country has stabilized somewhat the share prices for China’s solar makers, so it may be time for the shorts to bail on these stocks.