Among U.S. solar-related stocks, First Solar (NASDAQ: SUNE) saw the most significant swings in short interest in the most recent period.
Advanced Energy Industries (NASDAQ: AEIS) saw short interest in its shares grow somewhat between the June 28 and July 15 settlement dates.
But the number of shares sold short in GT Advanced Technologies (NASDAQ: SPWR) decreased in the final weeks of June.
Furthermore, the number of U.S.-listed shares (or ADRs) sold short of foreign-based companies Canadian Solar (NASDAQ: CSIQ), China Sunergy (NASDAQ: CSUN), JA Solar Holdings (NASDAQ: JASO) and Suntech Power Holdings (NYSE: STP) grew in the period
But short interest in LDK Solar (NYSE: LDK), ReneSola (NYSE: SOL), Trina Solar (NYSE: TSL) Yingli Green Energy (NYSE: YGE) shrank.
Here is a quick look at how First Solar, Real Goods and SunEdison have fared and what analysts expect from them.
Short interest in this solar energy company declined more than 17 percent to around 11.23 million shares during the period. That was the smallest number of shares sold short in at least a year, but it still represents more than 16 percent of the float. Days to cover rose to more than two for the first time since May.
In July, BlackRock (NYSE: BLK) reduced its stake in this Tempe, Arizona-based company. First Solar has a market capitalization of about $4 billion. It offers no dividend. The price-to-earnings (P/E) ratio is lower than the industry average, and the operating margin is higher than the industry average.
The consensus recommendation of analysts surveyed by Thomson/First Call is to hold First Solar shares, and it has been for at least three months. The current share price is well above their mean price target, meaning analysts see no upside potential at this time.
The share price is more than 57 percent higher than six months ago, despite pulling back more than three percent in the past week. The stock has outperformed the likes of Linear Technology (NASDAQ: LLTC) and Sharp, as well as the broader markets, over the past six months.
See also: First Solar to Build New Mexico Solar Projects Totaling 23MW for PNM
Real Goods Solar
The short interest in this solar installation services provider rose more than 20 percent to around 2.62 million shares by the middle of July. The number of shares sold short has increased in the past four consecutive periods and now represents more than 19 percent of the company's total float.
Real Goods Solar's chairman of the board resigned back in June and a director was appointed to replace him. The Louisville, Colorado-based company now has a market cap of near $64 million. Note that its return on equity and operating margin are both in negative territory.
Though the consensus recommendation previously had been to hold shares, no analysts have been surveyed by Thomson/First Call recently. That means there is no current mean price target. Given the stock's recent volatility, a consensus price target might mean little anyway.
The share price spiked more than 247 percent to a multiyear high in mid-May, but it quickly retreated. Shares have traded mostly between $2 and $3 since then. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed competitor SolarCity, as well as the Nasdaq and the S&P 500.
The number of shares sold short in the former MEMC Electronic Materials declined more than eight percent in the period to about 13.64 million, or about six percent of the float. That followed a more than 18 percent drop in short interest in the previous period. Days to cover remained at more than three.
Headquartered near St. Louis, SunEdison is one of the world's largest solar installers and developers, and it has a market cap above $2 billion. It also remains one of the world's biggest semiconductor wafer suppliers. While it has a long-term EPS growth forecast of more than 12 percent, its return on equity is in the red.
Nine of 17 analysts surveyed recommend buying shares, with three of them rating the stock at Strong Buy. Here too, the share price has overrun their mean price target. However, the street-high price target suggests there may be 25 percent potential upside.
The share price is up more than 21 percent in the past month and reached a new 52-week high earlier this week. Over the past six months, the stock has outperformed the likes of Advanced Energy Industries and Analog Devices (NASDAQ: ADI), as well as the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
See also: Short Sellers Continue to Pile on KLA-Tencor
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment advice. All rights reserved.
Stock AnalysisLearn about Coca-Cola's ad spending and why the company has decided to spend the amount of money it does. Understand comparable companies and industries.
InvestingVolatility is likely to resurface as the Federal Reserve gets closer to adjusting its monetary policy stance, even if that adjustment is a measured affair.
EconomicsWe are facing a conundrum with investment implications: Why are wages still stagnant, when jobs are being created at the fastest pace since the late 90's?
InvestingDiverging monetary policy globally and a stronger dollar continued to be key drivers of the recent underperformance and last week’s tumble in U.S. stocks.
EconomicsThe "soft" dry bulk shipping market that confronts shipping companies is a result of lower demand from China, and an excessive amount of bulk ships.
Stock AnalysisWe take a closer look at how Sierra Wireless' transition from 2G to 3G and 4G technologies, has impacted its business today, and the future expectations.
Stock AnalysisARM Holdings highlighted several growth opportunities in its most recent roadshow presentation. Here are three of the large opportunities it talked about.
Stock AnalysisThe energy boom in the U.S. has opened up a huge range of opportunities in the oil and gas industry.
Stock AnalysisCostco has been one of America's most successful companies: It's growing, efficient, profitable and its long-term shareholders have benefited a windfall.
Stock AnalysisDividend investors know that real estate investment trusts with REITs that invest in mortgage-backed securities produce double-digit dividend yields.
An alternative investment theory to Efficient Market Hypothesis ...
New orders for U.S. core durable goods, which are the total durable ...
One of the best-known sources of financial information on the ...
The market's ability to sustain relatively large market orders ...
The difference between the number of stocks that closed higher ...
A system that gathers and compiles the different estimates made ...
An industry agency council was established by the World Economic Forum in 2014 to serve as an advisory board on the future ... Read Full Answer >>
The railroads sector is comprised of publicly traded stocks for companies that operate railroad tracks and/or trains. Railroad ... Read Full Answer >>
Biotech giant Amgen Inc (AMGN) bills itself as one of the first biotechnology firms. It was founded in 1980 and has grown ... Read Full Answer >>
Back in late August 2012, Apple’s (AAPL) stock price reached nearly $700 per share. The stock has since split but has yet ... Read Full Answer >>