Short Sellers Raise Their Bets 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 October 15. Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on all three solar stocks and rose on four of five alternative energy stocks.

In this volatile market environment, solar stocks remain a short seller’s choice while two alt energy stocks also get significant attention.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest rise by 10.5% to 6.44 million shares, which represents about 8.6% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from five to six. In the two-week period through October 15, the stock’s share price fell by 4.6%. The stock’s 52-week trading range is $42.40 to $81.72, and it closed at $42.43 on Wednesday, down about 4% for the day. The 52-week low was posted yesterday.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose to 20.14 million shares or 32.9% of the company’s float. In the short interest period, the share price fell by 9%. The stock’s 52-week range is $6.36 to $10.00, and it closed at $6.42 on Wednesday, down about 3.5% for the day. Days to cover rose from seven to 12.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw an increase of 12.2% in short interest during the first two weeks of October. Some 7.7% of the total float, or 3.46 million shares, were short and days to cover remained at seven. The company’s shares traded up 1% over the period, and shares closed Wednesday at $13.10, down nearly 4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $11.37 to $19.09.

Bloom Energy Corp. (NYSE: BE) short interest rose by 26.8% in the two weeks to October 15. Some 3.22 million shares were short, representing 26.8% of the company’s total float. Days to cover increased from four to seven, and the stock tumbled by about 22.6% during the period. Shares closed Wednesday at $23.92, up about 0.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $18.50 to $38.00.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted a rise of 5.6% in short interest during the short interest period. Some 10.19 million shares were short as of October 15, or about 11% of the total float. The stock closed at $0.79 on Wednesday, down about 5.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.78 to $2.31. Shares traded down about 6.5% in the first half of the month, and days to cover rose from nine to 12.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest increase by 8.4% to 36.57 million shares. Days to cover rose from 13 to 17, and about 17.3% of the company’s shares were short. In the two weeks to October 15, the share price dipped by about 2.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $1.53 to $3.21, and shares closed Wednesday at $1.86, down about 0.5% for the day.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a decrease of 2.7% in short interest to 4.61 million shares. About 3.4% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover rose from four to five. The share price dropped by 7.7% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $2.14 on Wednesday, down about 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 25.4% in the two-week period to 1.14 million shares, about 2.6% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from two to one. The stock price rose by about 8.2% in the two weeks. Shares closed at $1.75 on Wednesday, down about 3.3% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.55 to $5.10.