Solar, Alt Energy Stocks Short Interest Rises on Falling Oil Prices

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Among the solar and alternative energy stocks we cover, all but one saw a rise in short interest during the two-week period to December 15. As crude oil prices continue to fall, the impact of the lower energy prices on alt energy stocks continues to be felt. This is especially true for ethanol and clean diesel providers. Four of the stocks we cover posted new 52-week lows in the two-week period.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 5.8% to 8.94 million shares, which represents 12.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at four. In the two-week short interest period, shares fell more than 19% but they remain down about 20% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close at $43.67. The stock’s 52-week range is $40.54 to $74.84.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed an increase of 1.6% in short interest to 71.82 million shares. About 26.7% of the company’s stock is now short and days to cover rose to six. In the latest two-week short interest reporting period, shares fell nearly 21%. They are up nearly 50% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close at $19.50, in a 52-week range of $12.78 to $24.35.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose 3.7% to 10.68 million shares, or 20.4% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period to December 15, shares fell nearly 21% and are down nearly 13% year-to-date, after closing at $26.01 on Wednesday. The stock’s 52-week range is $22.75 to $42.07. Days to cover fell to three.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw a short interest rise by 7.2% to 18.64 million shares, 32.9% of the company’s total float. Days to cover remained unchanged at eight. In the two-week short interest period, shares slipped about 12%, but they are down just 0.1% year-to-date through Wednesday’s close. The stock’s 52-week range is $45.79 to $88.35, and shares closed at $56.76.

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Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a rise of 9.5% in short interest in the two-week period to December 15. Some 11.9% of the stock, 4.93 million shares, are short, but days to cover remained unchanged at one. The company’s shares fell nearly 19% over the two weeks and are down about 23.5% year-to-date. Shares closed Wednesday at $22.82, in a 52-week range of $20.64 to $44.50.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) had a rise of 2.4% in short interest during the two-week period. About 14.8% of the company’s stock, 34.12 million shares, is short, and days to cover fell to nine. In the two-week short interest period, the shares dropped about 13%, but they remain nearly 16% higher year-to-date. The stock closed at $1.63 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $1.30 to $4.74.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest fall by 3.1% to 35.41 million shares. Days to cover fell to five and about 21% of the company’s shares are short. In the first two weeks of December, the stock’s share price fell about 30%, but shares are up for the year to date by nearly 97%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.55 to $11.72, and shares closed Wednesday at $3.05.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a rise of 1.6% in short interest to 16.58 million shares. About 24% of the company’s shares are short and days to cover fell to eight. Shares fell about 30% in the two-week period and are down about 59% for the year to date. Shares closed at $5.25, in a 52-week range of $4.25 to $13.44.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 8.2% in the two-week period to 4.75 million shares, about 20.8% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at three. The stock price fell nearly 30% in the two weeks to December 15, and shares closed at $11.15 on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $4.42 to $23.97. Year to date, though, Pacific Ethanol’s stock price is up about 120%.

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