Short Sellers Still Cool to Solar Stocks, Betting Against Alt Energy

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Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on May 15.  Of the companies we watch, short interest fell on two of three solar stocks and rose on three of four alternative energy stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest decrease by 8.1% to 4.05 million shares, which represents about 5.6% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at 2. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price jumped by 9.9%. Its 52-week trading range is $35.33 to $81.72, and it closed at $68.37 on Thursday, down less than 0.1% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest increased by 7.1% to 15.86 million shares, or 26.1% of the company’s float. In the short interest period, the share price rose by 8.3%. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.46 to $11.70, and it closed at $8.87 on Thursday, up about 0.5% for the day. Days to cover rose from five to seven.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a decrease of 3.1% in short interest during the first two weeks of May. Some 3.2% of the total float, or 1.45 million shares, were short, and days to cover remained unchanged at three. The company’s share price rose by about 2.3% over the two-week period, and shares closed Thursday at $16.72, down about 1.2% for the day, in a 52-week range of $12.24 to $19.09.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 17.8% in short interest during the period. Some 6.9 million shares were short as of May 15. The stock closed at $1.88 on Thursday, down about 1.1% for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.93 to $2.49. Shares traded up about 1.4% in the short interest period, and days to cover rose from eight to 14.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest rise by 6.2% to 36.55 million shares. Days to cover fell from 10 to seven, and about 16.2% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to May 15, the share price soared about 16.6%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.53 to $3.21, and shares closed Thursday at $2.15, up about 0.5% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a drop of about 7.6% in short interest to 3.88 million shares. About 4.4% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover fell from nine to two. The share price skyrocketed 27.5% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $2.74 on Thursday, up about 4.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.31 to $3.05.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 3% in the two-week period to 2.34 million shares, about 5.5% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from five to six. The stock price was unchanged in the two weeks to May 15. Shares closed at $3.50 on Thursday, unchanged on the day, in a 52-week range of $2.75 to $7.50.