It’s a tough day to be short shares of SolarCity.
On Tuesday afternoon, in a shocking piece of deal news, Tesla announced that it has offered to acquire SolarCity in an all-stock transaction that values the solar energy company at around $26.50-$28.50 per share. Shares of SolarCity closed Tuesday’s trading at about $21.10 per share and are now up 22% in after-hours trading.
So on a one-day basis those betting the price of SolarCity shares will fall are losing big.
But given that the stock had been down almost 60% this year alone as of Tuesday’s close, and down about 63% over the last year, it might not be all bad news for the SolarCity shorts.
Additionally, Elon Musk — CEO of Tesla and chairman of SolarCity — said he will not vote on the proposed merger, potentially leaving the door open for this deal to not get done.
But while those selling short the stock of any company that gets acquired, or betting that the price of this stock will fall, have a bad day when this news crosses the wires, SolarCity’s rise is notable given that it has an absolutely massive short interest outstanding.
According to data from Bloomberg, as of May 31 about 40% of SolarCity’s outstanding shares were being sold short. Data from FinViz indicates this makes SolarCity among the 10 most-shorted companies with market caps over $2 billion.
Tesla shares were getting hammered on the news late Tuesday, falling as much as 10%, or more than the entire market cap of SolarCity.
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