Short-seller requests $9 taxi refund from firm he’s been shorting

First Solar, one of the world’s biggest solar photovoltaic manufacturers, has had some positive announcements lately. Its utility-scale power plant opened yesterday and last week it announced it had shipped 1GW worth of components, along with giving optimistic guidance for the coming year.

The moment was perhaps dampened a little by the appearance of one of the hedge fund managers who have been shorting the company in recent month.

(First Solar wasn’t the only solar company to find quite a high proportion of its shares available for loan in October).

One of those shorting First Solar then and now was Andrew Kaplan of hedge fund Harvest Capital Strategies. Kaplan, reports Reuters, was invited to a company event, only to be asked to leave – apparently, First Solar said his invitation was in error.

The fund manager ducked into a cab for a $9 ride back up town to his Manhattan office near Central Park to catch a webcast of the meeting where First Solar’s top executives gave their forecast for 2010 for the company and the solar power industry.

Kaplan later emailed the company asking it to refund the fare.

“I have always conducted myself with decorum at other events, and my questions to management members have always been pertinent and respectful,” Kaplan wrote in the email.

First Solar for its part said that there were invitees who were critical of First Solar on the invitation list – only that Kaplan wasn’t one of them.

Related links:
Someone’s betting against solar stocks (FT Energy Source, 26/10/09)

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