The Top Short Trade of 2011
First Solar, one of the most consistently shortedstocks in the S&P 500, is on track to close 2011 with a loss of 74 percent.
At its high in May 2008, the manufacturer of solar modules using thin-film semiconductor technology, was valued at $25 billion. Since then, its market capitalization has been reduced by 88 percent to $3 billion.
For some, however, the stock may be trading at a discount. In a recent note, Citibank Analyst Timothy Arcuri points out that two outcomes may be likely for First Solar: Either "FSLR is taken private (given the massive lumpiness, up front capital requirements)" or "it finds a rich parent (i.e., GE? Samsung? for technology differentiation)."
If neither of those scenarios plays out, he notes, the future of the company is likely to remain challenging.