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Clean Energy Fuels Corp (NASDAQ:CLNE) is scheduled to take its turn at the earnings plate after tonight's close. Historically, the alternative energy issue has had mixed results, falling short of analysts' expectations in three of the past eight quarters. The price action that follows the company's results hasn't given Wall Street much to shout about, either, with the stock losing an average of 3.3% in the following session.
As such, option players have been bearishly aligning themselves heading into tonight's scheduled announcement. The equity's 50-day put/call volume ratio of 0.58 at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX) ranks higher than all other such readings taken in the past year. Simply stated, puts have been bought to open over calls at an annual-high clip in recent months. In the front-month series, specifically, this has translated into heavy accumulations of put open interest at the 12 and 13 strikes, where a collective 3,851 contracts currently reside.
This skeptically slanted skew is evident outside of the options pits, as well. For starters, short interest accounts for more than one-quarter of the stock's available float, and it would take 22 sessions to cover these shorted shares, at CLNE's average daily pace of trading. Additionally, there are seven "hold" or "strong sell" recommendations levied against the stock, compared to just two "buy" or better ratings.
Looking at CLNE's technical backdrop gives hints as to why pessimism surrounds the stock. Since last November, the stock has been churning mostly in the $12-to-$14 range, resulting in a modest year-to-date advance of 3.3%. Ahead of tonight's report, though, the stock is following in the bullish footsteps of the broader equities market, and was last seen 1.8% higher to trade at $12.86.
For Clean Energy Fuels Corp's (NASDAQ:CLNE) second quarter, Wall Street is calling for a loss of 17 cents per share, slightly wider than its year-ago loss of 16 cents.