Short Sellers Search for Direction on Solar, 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 August 15.  Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on two of three solar stocks and rose on two of four alternative energy stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest fall by 16.3% to 4.25 million shares, which represents about 5.7% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from two to four. In the two-week short interest period, the stock’s share price fell by 3.7%. Its 52-week trading range is $45.26 to $81.72, and it closed at $52.08 on Friday, up about 1% for the day.

SunPower Corp.’s (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest increased by 4.9% to 17.67 million shares, or 29.1% of the company’s float. In the short interest period to August 15, the share price fell by 6.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.46 to $10.00, and it closed at $6.79 on Friday, up about 1.2% for the day. Days to cover rose from nine to 11.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw an increase of 3.1% in short interest during the first two weeks of August. Some 7.6% of the total float, or 3.4 million shares, were short and days to cover fell from five to four. The company’s share price traded flat over the two-week period and shares closed Friday at $13.86, up about 3.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $11.37 to $19.09.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a dip of 4.7% in short interest during the short interest period. Some 9.92 million shares were short as of August 15. The stock closed at $1.15 on Friday, up about 0.9% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.00 to $2.49. Shares traded down about 20.7% in the two-week period, and days to cover were unchanged at nine.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest rise by 3.7% to 33.85 million shares. Days to cover were unchanged at 16, and about 16% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to August 15, the share price fell by 6.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.53 to $3.21, and shares closed Friday at $2.00, down 0.5% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a decrease of 5.5% in short interest to 2.99 million shares. About 2.2% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover were unchanged at two. The share price dropped by 9% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $2.88 on Friday, up about 0.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.31 to $4.05.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest rise by 4.6% in the period to 906,699 shares, about 2.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained at two. The stock price tumbled by more than 22% in the two weeks. Shares closed at $1.95 on Friday, flat on the day, in a 52-week range of $1.70 to $6.06.