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Short Interest Turns Higher on Solar, Alternative Energy Stocks

Paul Ausick

Short interest moves among solar and alternative energy stocks trended higher during the two-week reporting period that ended on February 28. Of the companies we watch, short interest rose on three of four solar stocks and on all four alternative energy stocks.

First Solar Inc. (FSLR) saw short interest rise by 10.1% to 18.56 million shares, which represents about 23.4% of the company's float. Days to cover fell from 11 to three. In the two-week short interest period through February 28, the stock's share price added about 6.7%. The stock's 52-week range is $28.60 to $74.29, and it closed at $32.48 on Thursday, down about 0.6% for the day.

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Short interest in SunPower Corp. (SPWR) decreased by 4.9% to 18.65 million shares, or 31.7% of the company's float. In the two-week short interest period, the share price rose about 21.3%. The stock's 52-week range is $6.00 to $25.00, and it closed at $7.23 on Thursday, down about 4.4%. Days to cover fell from 10 to three.

Canadian Solar Inc. (CSIQ) saw a rise of 1.4% in short interest during the two-week period. Some 13.3% of the total float, 5.88 million shares, were short, and days to cover fell from six to three. The company's share price rose by 8% over the period, and shares closed Thursday at $13.28, down about 1.1% for the day. The 52-week range is $10.25 to $21.41.

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During the two weeks, FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL) posted an increase of 13.5% in short interest. Some 3.77 million shares were short as of February 28. The stock closed at $1.40 on Thursday, down 6.7% for the day, in a 52-week range of $1.25 to $8.88. Shares dropped just over 6% in the short interest period, and days to cover rose from four to eight.

The short interest in Plug Power Inc. (PLUG) increased by 12.2% to 37.3 million shares. Days to cover remained unchanged at three and about 22.1% of the company's shares were short. In the final two weeks of February, the share price fell by about 2.7%. The stock's 52-week range is $0.83 to $2.28. Shares closed on Thursday at $0.95, down more than 10% for the day after the company reported poor quarterly.

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Clean Energy Fuels Corp. (CLNE) saw a rise of about 6.4% in short interest to 7.23 million shares. About 6.3% of the company's float was short, and days to cover remained unchanged at six. The share price fell by about 6.1% between the settlement dates. The stock closed at $2.574, down about 0.8%, on Thursday, in a 52-week range of $2.38 to $4.80.

And Pacific Ethanol Inc. (PEIX) saw short interest rise by 5.5% in the two-week period to 1.14 million shares. That was about 3.6% of the company's float, and days to cover rose from two to three. The stock price added about 1.3% by February 28. Shares closed at $7.20 on Thursday, down about 2% on the day, in a 52-week range of $3.67 to $10.95.

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