SunPower Stock Surges to Highest Level Ever Amid Renewed Interest from Meme Stock Traders and Rising Short Bets

SunPower Corp. (NASDAQ:SPWR) has experienced an unprecedented surge in its stock price, recording its largest gain ever amid a renewed interest in meme stocks. The company, known for its residential solar systems, saw its shares climb by as much as 86% to a high of $5.12 on Tuesday, following a on Monday. This week, the California-based company has added nearly $400 million in market value as meme stock traders renewed their focus on companies like GameStop Corp. (NYSE:GME) and AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. (NYSE:AMC).
As the stock price soared, short sellers ramped up their bets against SunPower, with short interest peaking at nearly 96%, data from S3 Partners revealed. Graham Price, a clean-technology analyst at Raymond James, suggested that the sharp rise in SunPower’s stock could be due to a classic short squeeze, particularly given its high short interest and limited share availability, with the majority of its shares held by TotalEnergies SE.
Amid these market movements, other U.S.-based solar equipment stocks also saw increases, including Maxeon Solar Technologies, Sunnova Energy International, and Sunrun Inc. However, Price noted that the recent U.S. tariffs on Chinese imports, including solar cells, are unlikely to benefit SunPower since it no longer operates as a manufacturer.
Despite the recent gains, SunPower’s shares are down almost 10% for the year. The company has faced significant challenges within the rooftop solar sector, leading to a reduction of more than 25% of its workforce last month. Additionally, SunPower announced plans to close its residential installation locations and its direct sales unit. The company also expects to incur approximately $28 million in restructuring charges and needs to restate almost two years of financial results due to these challenges.
The broader rooftop solar industry has been under pressure, with higher interest rates increasing the cost of installing solar panels. Additionally, a recent decision by California to reduce payments to homes and businesses that supply excess solar power back to the grid has further stressed the sector.