Short Sellers Targeting Solar & Alternative Energy (AKNS, ASTI, CSIQ, CPST, ESLR, FTEK, OTTR, SPWR)

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The overall short interest on NASDAQ stocks was actually pretty dull from the end of April to Mid-May, or at least that is the case until you go straight into looking at solar stocks and other alternative energy stocks.  Many of these have seen their stock prices rise sharply over the last few months.  Many were viable with $70 or $80 oil, but after $100 and then $130 oil you can imagine that short sellers are targeting the most up or most speculative names. 
                                                         MAY 15       APRIL 30     CHANGE
Akeena Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ: AKNS)   3,280,165    3,042,025       7.83%
Ascent Solar Tech (NASDAQ: ASTI)     2,106,784    1,889,624      11.49%
Canadian Solar Inc. (NASDAQ: CSIQ)   4,311,126    3,562,672      21.01%
Capstone Turbine (NASDAQ: CPST)     12,860,110   11,491,389    11.91%
Evergreen Solar (NASDAQ: ESLR)       22,122,144   20,622,446     7.27%
Fuel Tech, Inc. (NASDAQ: FTEK)          7,488,443    6,443,583      16.22%
Otter Tail Corp. (NASDAQ: OTTR)         2,126,732    1,960,651        8.47%
SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ: SPWR)     15,231,873   14,016,469      8.67%

As you have seen, most of these are solar plays, but some aren’t.  Fuel Tech helps power plants burn cleaner coal, and it has had more problems over the last year on making its earnings numbers.  Otter Tail is a diversified "General Eclectic" but it has become more well known for making wind towers of late; and it hasn’t hurt that Bill Gates has been a holder for quite some time.  Capstone Turbine has been our largest winner in our weekly "10 Stocks Under $10" newsletter in the sector with a 200% gain; and it is still an active hold in that group.  We also just featured Akeena Solar over at VSinvestor.com for a highly unusual volume spike alert.

These are the ones we screened with the largest short interest increases in the sector seem to be more speculative names, although there were some that saw decreases and we excluded those from this list.  Out of the alternative energy or "cleaner" energy stocks we follow, these were the ones with the largest increase in the short interest.

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Jon Ogg
May 28, 2008