In three of the five solar stocks we track, short interest rose during the two-week period to July 31. The biggest movement, however, was a decline in short interest in one of the other stocks. The bad news for short sellers who closed their position in that stock during that two-week period is that the stock’s price fell even further in the first few days of August. Fundamentally, however, the move in solar stocks are toward higher levels of short interest.
First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 5.2% to 9.58 million shares, which represents 13.1% of the company’s float. It would take five days to cover short positions. In the two-week short interest period to July 31, shares rose 0.3% and climbed more than 20% year-to-date through Monday’s close at $69.17. The stock’s 52-week range is $35.59 to $74.84.
Short interest in SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) decreased 3.3% to 67.44 million shares. About 25.4% of the company’s stock is now short and days to cover is five. In the latest two-week short interest period, shares slipped more than 14%, but are up more than 55% year-to-date through Monday night’s close of $21.65. Its 52-week range is $6.24 to $24.35. SunEdison spun-off TerraForm Power Inc. (NASDAQ: TERP), a so-called yieldco, during the recent short interest period.
Sunpower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw a short interest decline of 10.5% to 11.08 million shares, or 21.6% of the company’s total float. In the two-week short interest period to July 31, shares slipped more than 3.5%, but are up more than 9% year-to-date after closing at $35.33 on Monday. The stock’s 52-week range is $20.57 to $42.07. SunPower issued poor guidance when it reported earnings on July 31, after which the stock price fell even more steeply.
Short interest in SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) rose 2.9% to 11.3 million shares, or 23% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period, shares rose more than 9% and are up nearly 23% year-to-date through Monday’s close of $73.40. The stock’s 52-week range is $28.31 to $88.35.
GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) saw short interest rise by 4% to 48.24 million shares, about 35.6% of the company’s total float. In the two-week short interest period to July 31, shares fell more than 9% but are up nearly 79% year-to-date through Monday, when the shares closed at $16.31. The stock’s 52-week range is $5.52 to $20.54. GT’s year-to-date gains are primarily the result of a deal with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) under which GT will make sapphire glass for Apple’s new mobile devices. The concern is how fast the company can ramp up production and whether or not all new iPhones and possible iWatches will include the more expensive face plate.