Energy Business

Short Interest in Solar Stocks Rises with Share Prices

Paul Ausick

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks mostly increased during the two-week reporting period that ended on February 29. In the solar sector, four of the five companies we watch saw short interest rise. Three of four alt energy stocks saw a decrease in short interest during the period.

A recent research report from Deutsche Bank rated three of the solar companies we cover as a Buy.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest increase by 5.6% to 6.77 million shares, which represents 9.1% of the company’s float. Days to cover slipped from three to two. In the two-week short interest period through February 29, the stock’s share price rose by about 17%. The stock’s 52-week range is $40.25 to $73.71 and it closed at $68.49 on Wednesday, up about 2.4% for the day. On March 1, JPMorgan cut its rating on the stock from Overweight to Neutral and essentially said that it believed the stock was fairly valued at around $69 a share.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed an increase of 8.1% in short interest to 106.65 million shares. About 34% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover fell from four to two. In the latest two-week short interest reporting period, the share price fell by about 2.9%. The stock closed at $1.92 on Wednesday, down 4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.21 to $33.45. Most of the recent bad news for the company came following the close of the short interest period, but the stock posted its 52-week low on February 24.


SunPower Corp.

(NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose by 16.6% to 13.08 million shares, or 22.9% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period to February 29, the share price rose by nearly 16%. The stock’s 52-week range is $18.25 to $35.11, and it closed at $22.98 on Wednesday, up 2% for the day. Days to cover remained unchanged at five.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw short interest rise by 13.4% to 27.44 million shares, 44.5% of the company’s total float. Days to cover rose from three to five. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose by about 10.6%. The stock’s 52-week range is $16.31 to $63.79, and shares closed at $26.20 Wednesday night, up about 4.5% for the day. Earlier this week, the company signed a deal with Whole Foods Market to install rooftop solar panels on more of the organic grocer’s stores.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a decline of 7.9% in short interest in the two-week period to February 29. Some 11.8% of the total float, 5.01 million shares, ere short, and days to cover remained unchanged at two. The company’s shares jumped 44.5% between the settlement dates. Shares closed Wednesday at $21.76, up about 2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $14.16 to $40.08.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a decrease of 8.6% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 3.25 million shares were short as of the end of the month. The stock closed at $7.07 on Wednesday, up more than 10% for the day, in a 52-week range of $4.51 to $16.32. Shares added more than 21% in the two-week short interest period, and days to cover fell from nine to seven.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest decrease by a 3.8% to 33.13 million shares. Days to cover fell from 27 to 19, and about 18.6% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to February 29, the stock’s share price rose by more than 29%. Its 52-week range is $1.30 to $2.98, and shares closed Wednesday at $1.90, down about 2.6% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a decrease of 1.6% in short interest to 14.76 million shares. About 20.9% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover fell from 14 to 10. Shares rose by nearly 25% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $3.42, up more than 13%, on Wednesday, in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $10.48.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 1.1% in the two-week period to 4.53 million shares, about 12.3% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from six to nine. The stock price increased more than 21% in the two weeks. Shares closed at $4.21 on Wednesday, down about 1% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $13.70.