Short Sellers Uncertain on Solar, Alt Energy Stocks

Print Email

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on June 15. In the solar sector two of four companies we watch saw short interest rise, and three of four alt energy stocks saw a decrease in short interest during the period.

The big news in the alternative energy sector came just after the close of this short interest reporting period with the announcement that Tesla Motors Inc. (NYSE: TSLA) had made an offer to acquire SolarCity for $2.8 billion in Tesla stock. Tesla CEO Elon Musk is also chairman of SolarCity and the solar installer’s founders are cousins. As we pointed out shortly after the offer was announced, the full value of SolarCity had already been chopped from Tesla’s share price.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 8.4% to 8.48 million shares, which represents 11.3% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from 4 to 6. In the two-week short interest period through June 15, the stock’s share price rose by about 1.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $40.25 to $74.29 and it closed at $46.02 on Friday, down 5.4% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest fell by 2.6% to 14.97 million shares, or 25.6% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period to June 15, the share price fell by 13.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $13.92 to $31.10 and it closed at $14.16 on Friday, down about 8.5% for the day. Days to cover remained unchanged at 7.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw short interest rise by 4.3% to 27.21 million shares, 42.7% of the company’s total float. Days to cover increased from 5 to 6. In the two-week short interest period, the share price fell by 5.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $16.31 to $61.72, and shares closed at $22.20 Friday night, up 1% for the day.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a drop of 10.4% in short interest during the two-week period to June 15. Some 13.5% of the total float, 5.94 million shares, are short, and days to cover fell from 4 to 3. The company’s share price fell nearly 16% over the two-week period and shares closed Friday at $14.83, down about 8.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $14.16 to $30.12.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 3.8% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 3.74 million shares were short as of June 15. The stock closed at $5.20 on Friday, down about 5.5% for the day, in a 52-week range of $4.51 to $12.60. Shares tumbled about 20% in the two-week short interest period, and days to cover fell from 7 to 3. The company reported second-quarter earnings on Wednesday, posting a larger-than-expected loss and dragging the other alt energy stocks down with it.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest decrease by 5.2% to 27.48 million shares. Days to cover fell from 24 to 21 and about 15.4% of the company’s shares are short. In the two weeks to June 15, the stock’s share price dropped by about 3.9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.30 to $2.98 and shares closed Friday at $1.71, down about 2.3% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a drop of 4.7% in short interest to 7.87 million shares. About 9.2% of the company’s float is short and days to cover remained unchanged at 5. Shares rose by about 6.7% in the two-week period to June 15. The stock closed at $3.26, down about 2.7%, on Friday in a 52-week range of $2.15 to $6.94.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest drop by 3.2% in the two-week period to 4.42 million shares, about 12% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from 5 to 8. The stock price fell by nearly 10% in the two weeks to June 15. Shares closed at $5.15 on Friday, down about 4.6% on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.41 to $10.45.

I'm interested in the Newsletter