Energy Business

Short Sellers Firm Up Positions in Solar, Remain Selective in Alt Energy Stocks

Paul Ausick

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on November 15.  Of the companies we watch, short interest increased in 2 of 3 solar stocks and decreased in 3 of 5 alternative energy stocks.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest remain essentially flat at 11.52 million shares which represent about 15.2% of the company’s float. Days to cover rose from 8 to 9. In the two-week short interest period through November 15, the stock’s share price increased by about 2.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $38.45 to $69.24 and it closed at $55.09 on Tuesday, up about 0.2% for the day.

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose by 7% to 19.26 million shares or 30.7% of the company’s float. In the two-week short interest period to November 15, the share price slipped by about 11.1%. The stock’s 52-week range is $4.55 to $16.04 and it closed at $7.22 on Tuesday, down by about 1.9% for the day. Days to cover slipped from 6 to 5.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw short interest jump by 14% during the two-week period to November 15. Some 7.9% of the total float, or 3.59 million shares, are short and days to cover remained unchanged at 4. The company’s shares traded down by more than 14% over the two-week period and shares closed Tuesday at $15.54, down by about 0.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $13.46 to $25.89.

Bloom Energy Corp. (NYSE: BE) short interest decreased by 13% in the two weeks to November 15. Some 20.78 million shares are short, representing about 32% of the company’s total float. Days to cover slipped from 8 to 7 and the stock price soared by more than 70% during the two-week period. Shares closed Tuesday at $5.50, up about 6.4% for the day, in a 52-week range of $2.44 to $19.87. Planned power outages in California have raised investor interest in storage products like Bloom’s fuel cells.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) posted an increase of 9% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 17.84 million shares were short as of November 15, about 14% of the total float. The stock closed at $0.74 on Tuesday, down about 5.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.13 to $11.28. Days to cover remained at 1. In the two-week period to November 15, the stock price soared by more than 200%. As is the case with Bloom, FuelCell Energy’s alternative power technology is an investor favorite right now. A recent deal with Exxon Mobil for a carbon capture project doubled the share price when it was announced.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest rise by 16% to 51 million shares. Days to cover fell from 10 to 8 and about 22.4% of the company’s shares are short. In the two weeks to November 15, the share price rose by about 29%. The stock’s 52-week range is $0.99 to $3.91 and shares closed Tuesday at $3.90, up by about 5.4% for the day. The 52-week high was posted Tuesday as well.

Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a drop of 15% in short interest to 1.51 million shares. About 1% of the company’s float is short and days to cover dipped from 3 to 2. The share price tumbled by about 8.3% in the two-week period to November 15. The stock closed at $4.88 on Tuesday, down about 2.6% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.61 to $3.47.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) saw short interest dive by 49% in the two-week period to 569,900 shares, about 1.3% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from 2 to 1. The stock price plunged by around 11% in the two weeks to November 15. Shares closed at $0.48 on Tuesday, down about 1.1% on the day, in a 52-week range of $0.39 to $1.70.