Short Interest Bounces Higher in Solar, Mixed in Alt Energy Stocks

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Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on January 12. Of the companies we watch, short interest rose all three solar stocks and dropped on three of four alternative energy stocks.

The widely expected imposition of a tariff on imported solar cells and modules likely drove the short interest in solar stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 12.7% to 5.28 million shares, which represents about 6.8% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. In the two-week period through January 12, the stock’s share price rose by nearly 7%. Its 52-week trading range is $25.56 to $76.61, and it closed at $68.98 on Wednesday, up about 0.7% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest increased by 3.8% to 14.3 million shares, or 24% of the company’s float. In the short interest period, the share price rose by around 7%. The stock’s 52-week range is $5.84 to $11.70, and it closed at $7.77 on Wednesday, down about 4.8% for the day. Days to cover slipped from seven to six.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw an increase of 3.4% in short interest during the two weeks to January 12. Some 4.7% of the total float, or 2.08 million shares, were short, and days to cover fell from three to two. The company’s share price fell by about 1.4% over the period, and shares closed Wednesday at $15.54, down about 0.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $10.86 to $19.09.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a decrease of 6% in short interest during the period. Some 8.52 million shares were short as of January 12. The stock closed at $1.87 on Wednesday, down about 1.1% for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.80 to $2.49. Shares traded up about 19% in the two weeks, and days to cover fell from 11 to four.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest drop by 4.1% to 31.54 million shares. Days to cover slipped from 11 to 10, and about 14% of the company’s shares were short. In the first two weeks of the year, the share price fell by about 1.9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $0.83 to $3.21, and shares closed Wednesday at $2.21, unchanged for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a decline of about 0.4% in short interest to 4.12 million shares. About 3.2% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover rose from three to four. The share price rose by about 5% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $1.63 on Wednesday, down about 3% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.62 to $3.12. The low was posted Wednesday.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 12.9% in the period to 865,721 shares, about 2% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from two to three. The stock price rose about 3.8% in the two weeks. Shares closed at $4.45 on Wednesday, down about 3.3% on the day, in a 52-week range of $4.10 to $9.35.