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09/22/2008 07:55 AM     print story email story  

Renewable Energy Companies Suspect Illegal Short Selling

SustainableBusiness.com News

Some renewable energy companies feel their stocks have been illegally targetted by short sellers.

Last week the futures market suffered a substantial downward bias after months of volatility that led the U.S. federal government to propose a $700 billion bail out for the financial markets, suffering under the weight of bad debt.

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) also announced New Rules to Protect Investors Against Naked Short Selling Abuses. Many feel that short sellers, who make money when stock prices fall, were responsible for driving down the stock prices of financial giants like Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns to the point of collapse.

"Not only have financial companies been targeted, but many alternative energy companies, and solar companies in particular, seem to have been favorite targets for this illegal and manipulative naked short selling action," said Evolution Solar Corporation (Pink Sheets: EVSO) in a release.

Evolution Solar Corporation is one of 69 companies on the Regulation SHO Threshold List, which the company said "confirms that the continued manipulative downward bias on our stock recently is most likely the result of illegal shorting."

Geothermal developer Raser Technologies, Inc. (NYSE Arca: RZ)  formally called upon the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) and other market regulators to investigate improper short selling and manipulative trading in its stock, including irregular trading at Thursda’s market close.

Raser has provided the NYSE with several examples of what the company believes to be improper and illegal trading practices involving its stock. The NYSE Arca reported a substantial percentage of trades involving Raser’s stock were short sales.

The Company believes that since there is very little stock available for borrow, that most of those trades were likely improper short selling--which were supposed to be curbed under the new SEC rules put in place earlier in the week.

“We are calling upon those that are supposed to enforce the rules to take immediate action. We cannot idly sit by while these unlawful attacks and manipulation of our shareholders’ investment in our company occur," said Brent M. Cook, Raser’s CEO. "We have seen a continued pattern of painting the tape with off-market trades and apparent naked short selling. We believe that those that are improperly profiting from these illegal activities must be held accountable.”

According to Evolution Solar, other illegally shorted solar companies on the SHO Threshold List are Akeena Solar (NASDAQ:AKNS), Ascent Solar Technologies (NASDAQ:ASTI), Solar Fun Power Holdings (NASDAQ:SOLF), Sunrise Solar (OTCBB:SSLR), and SunPower Corp (NASDAQ:SPWR), all of which have seen substantial price declines.

Evolution Solar Corp. said it is hopeful that the SEC's action and new rules requiring hard T+3 close-out requirements will curb  manipulative short selling activity in its shares and others.



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