SoalrCity Corp (NASDAQ:SCTY) stock has declined about 24% in the last three months. But short sellers expect it to sink further. SolarCity witnessed a significant increase in short interest from October 31 to November 14, the latest date for which data is available. According to Nasdaq, 18.57 million shares of SolarCity were held short as of Nov.14, up 8.5% from 17.12 million on Oct.31.
Short interest in SolarCity has been rising consistently
Short sellers have been betting big against the San Mateo-based solar installer. On Sept.15, only 11.56 million SolarCity shares were sold short. But bearish view has spiked consistently since then. Currently, 35.2% of the company’s total outstanding shares are held short. Based on the average daily trading volume of 4.37 million shares, it will take short sellers 4.2 days to cover their positions.
Last week, Baird analyst Ben Kallo upgraded the stock from Neutral to Outperform rating, while reiterating the $83 price target. That’s almost 60% upside from current levels. Kallo believed that the stock was a good buy after the recent decline. In November, SolarCity won a major order from Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) to install solar panels in Walmart locations in 36 different states over the next four years. The company has already completed more than 200 projects for Walmart since 2010.
What’s more, the solar company is close to signing a deal with the City of Ithaca to build and maintain a 2,400KW solar farm. It will provide about a third of the city’s electricity through solar power. Ithaca has called for reducing greenhouse gas emissions 20% below 2001 levels by the end of 2016. The city further plans to cut emissions 80% below 2010 levels by 2050.
Separately, SolarCity chief financial officer Brad Buss purchased 6,000 shares of the company in the open market on Nov.19. Buss disclosed in an SEC filing that he bought shares at an average price of $55.32 per share for a total transaction value of $331,920. Buss joined SolarCity in August to replace the outgoing CFO Bob Kelly.
SoalrCity shares plunged 5.82% to $51.80 at 12:02 PM EST on Monday.