SunPower Stock Shines After Spin-Off

SunPower will split into two publicly traded companies

by Patrick Martin

Published on Nov 11, 2019 at 9:50 AM

The shares of SunPower Corporation (NASDAQ:SPWR) are up 10.2% to trade at $9.22 today, after the solar name announced it would split into two separate publicly traded companies. The new company, Maxeon Solar Technologies, will be independent, complementary, and strategically aligned with SunPower, and will rely on a $298 million investment from partner Tianjin Zhonghuan Semiconductor. 

Although SunPower stock was up 68% heading into today, it was 47% off its Aug. 1 three-year high of $16.04. This pullback found support at the $8.30 level, an area that coincides with the shares' 320-day moving average. Perhaps today's rally was already in the cards too, considering the equity's 14-day relative strength index (RSI) drifted into oversold territory last Friday at 35. 

It will be interesting to see how analysts react to the company's split. There are eight analysts covering SPWR, and seven rate it a "hold" or worse. There's similar pessimism among short sellers, where short interest increased 10% in the two most recent reporting periods to 20.34 million shares, the most since April. This accounts for a hefty 32% of the security's total available float, and six days' worth of pent-up buying power, at the stock's average pace of trading. 

Options traders have been focused on calls. In the last 10 days, 8,082 calls were bought to open at the International Securities Exchange (ISE), Cboe Options Exchange (CBOE), and NASDAQ OMX PHLX (PHLX), compared to 1,802 puts. Given the amount of short interest tied up in the stock though, it's possible some of these calls could be shorts seeking an options hedge against any additional upside.

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