Energy Business

Strong Solar Trends Make Short Sellers Run for Cover

Solar rooftop installation
Source: Thinkstock
All five of the solar stocks we track for short interest fell during the two-week period to August 29. The solar industry is performing better in general than a lot of people expected, so the shorts have pulled back. For short sellers of one of these stocks, though, this week has been a bonanza.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest fall by 13.6% to 8.92 million shares, which represents 12.2% of the company’s float, and days to cover is 6. In the two-week short interest period, shares rose 0.8%, they and are up more than 23% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close at $70.97. The stock’s 52-week range is $37.88 to $74.84.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed a decrease of 3% in short interest to 64.73 million shares. About 24.2% of the company’s stock is now short and days to cover is 10. In the latest two-week short interest period, shares rose 5.5%. They are up about 50% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close at $21.00. The 52-week range is $7.13 to $24.35.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) saw a short interest decline of about 3.8% to 10.51 million shares, or 20.3% of the company’s total float. In the two-week short interest period to August 29, shares rose about 6.8%, and they are up more than 17% year-to-date after closing at $38.00 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $23.03 to $42.07. Days to cover is 8.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) showed a drop of 3.8% in short interest to 11.61 million shares, or 22.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover is 5. In the two-week short interest period, shares slipped about 4.4%, but they are up about 19% year-to-date. The stock’s 52-week range is $32.10 to $88.35, and shares ended Wednesday at $70.48.

GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ: GTAT) saw short interest drop by 8.9% to 51.5 million shares, about 37.8% of the company’s total float. Days to cover is 6. In the two-week short interest period, shares rose about 2.5%, and they are up nearly 40% year-to-date through Wednesday, when the shares closed at $12.78. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.28 to $20.54.

Two weeks ago, GT’s stock had doubled year-to-date. Then, on Tuesday, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) announced that the new iPhones would not be using GT’s sapphire glass covers, and the shares plummeted from an intra-day peak of $17.68 to close at $14.94, and the bleeding continued Wednesday. In just two days, the stock has lost nearly 28% of its value. It seems unlikely that short interest will pick up in this stock, but the price remains nearly double its 52-week low, so you never know.

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