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Short Sellers Still Attracted to Solar, Alt Energy Stocks

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks were mixed during the two-week reporting period that ended on July 31. Four of the five solar companies we watch saw short interest rise, while three of four alt energy stocks also saw a rise in short interest during the period.

A major acquisition battered shares of one of the solar companies, while shares of one alt energy company rose by 13% following its acquisition of 100% of a joint venture in Europe.

First Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: FSLR) saw short interest decrease by 9.1% to 6.44 million shares, which represents 8.7% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained rose from three to four. In the two-week short interest period, shares dropped about 0.4%. The stock’s 52-week range is $39.18 to $73.78, and it closed at $51.44 on Tuesday, down 3.8% for the day.

SunEdison Inc. (NYSE: SUNE) showed an increase of 3.7% in short interest to 72.25 million shares. About 23.2% of the company’s float is now short, and days to cover rose fell from eight to four. In the latest two-week short interest reporting period, the share price tumbled by 25%, mostly due to the announced $2.2 billion acquisition of Vivint Solar. The stock closed at $13.35 Tuesday, down more than 14% for the day, in a 52-week range of $13.09 to $33.45.

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SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR) short interest rose by 8.1% to 6.54 million shares, or 11.5% of the company’s float. Days to cover remained unchanged at three. In the two weeks to July 31, shares declined about 0.5%. The stock’s 52-week range is $22.75 to $39.95, and it closed at $24.93 on Tuesday, down about 4% for the day.

SolarCity Corp. (NASDAQ: SCTY) saw a short interest rise of 1.8% to 23.65 million shares, 39.5% of the company’s total float. Days to cover fell from 13 to 10. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose by more than 10%. The stock’s 52-week range is $45.91 to $75.90, and shares closed at $48.79 on Tuesday, down about 4.6% for the day.

Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ) saw a rise of 13.7% in short interest in the two weeks to July 31. Some 7.3% of the total float, 3.09 million shares, was short, and days to cover rose from one to two. The company’s shares rose more than 2% during the period. Shares closed Tuesday at $24.87, down about 4.2% for the day and in a 52-week range of $18.68 to $41.12.

FuelCell Energy Inc. (NASDAQ: FCEL) had a rise of 2.1% in short interest during the two-week period. About 16.7% of the company’s float, 42.68 million shares, was short and days to cover rose from 16 to 26. In the two-week short interest period, the shares dropped nearly 7.3%. The stock closed at $0.83 on Tuesday, down about 6.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $0.68 to $2.84.

Plug Power Inc. (NASDAQ: PLUG) saw short interest increase by 3.6% to 34.45 million shares. Days to cover rose from nine to 18, and about 20.1% of the company’s shares are short. In the two weeks to July 31, the stock’s share price jumped 13%. Its 52-week trading range is $2.17 to $6.47, and shares closed Tuesday at $2.33, down about 2% for the day.

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Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (NASDAQ: CLNE) saw a rise of 0.9% in short interest to 16.53 million shares. About 23.5% of the company’s float was short, and days to cover rose from eight to 11. Shares dropped about 9.7% in the two-week period. The stock closed at $5.11, down about 2.7%, on Tuesday. The 52-week range is $3.99 to $10.48.

Pacific Ethanol Inc. (NASDAQ: PEIX) had short interest fall by 29.2% in the period to 3.39 million shares, about 8.4% of the company’s float. Days to cover fell from six to three. The stock price fell by nearly 22% in the two weeks to July 31. The stock closed at $7.69 on Tuesday, down about 2.5% on the day, in a 52-week range of $7.05 to $23.97.

By Paul Ausick


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