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Squeezed? A Look At Real Goods Solar's Pop And Drop Amid Tariff News

January 24, 2018 11:57 am
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Squeezed? A Look At Real Goods Solar's Pop And Drop Amid Tariff News

President Donald Trump’s decision to impose a 30 percent tariff on solar panel imports sent a handful of U.S. solar stocks soaring Tuesday, but perhaps the most volatile move of all came from Real Goods Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:RGSE), which skyrocketed 30 percent on the news.

The tariff will certainly have a fundamental impact on the U.S. solar market by helping to support panel prices, but Real Goods’ relatively high short percent of float of 15.3 percent suggests a short squeeze may have played a role in Tuesday’ trading action.

Closer Look

According to Yahoo Finance, there are currently more than 1.14 million shares of Real Goods held short, and this week’s news may have triggered an exodus of shorts.

From a fundamental standpoint, Vertical Group’s Gordon Johnson said Tuesday that First Solar, Inc. (NASDAQ:FLSR) would be one of the biggest winners from the new tariffs. Yet after initially jumping more than 7 percent Tuesday morning, First Solar Stock finished the session down 0.7 percent. Part of the reason for the post-news sell-off was likely the fact that the tariff didn’t come as a huge surprise for investors. Investors clearly seemed to be anticipating a favorable outcome, sending shares of First Solar up 103 percent in the past year.

The fact that the news didn’t particularly catch investors off guard makes Real Goods move even more surprising and suggests market factors may have been in play. Real Goods stock fell 9.4 percent in early Wednesday trading, providing even more evidence that Tuesday’s big move may have just been temporary in nature.

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