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The following is a list of highly shorted stocks, with short floats higher than 15%. In addition, all of these stocks have been downgraded by one or more research analysts in the past two months.

If you're a contrarian, this excessive pessimism might raise a flag. Are any of these names ready for a short squeeze? What do you think? Full details below.

Short float and analyst rating data sourced from Finviz.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research. Note: The numbers on top of items represent the forward P/E ratio, if available.
1. First Solar, Inc. (FSLR): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $14.25B. On Feb-09-2011, Wunderlich reiterated a Sell rating on the stock. Previously on Feb-02-11, Kaufman Bros downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 27.92%, which implies a short ratio of 9.14 days. The stock has gained 33.84% over the last year.

2. Martin Marietta Materials Inc. (MLM): General Building Materials Industry. Market cap of $4.07B. On Feb-09-2011, Davenport downgraded from Buy to Neutral. Previously on Jan-01-11, UBS downgraded from Buy to Neutral. Short float at 15.22%, which implies a short ratio of 17.14 days. The stock has gained 14.51% over the last year.

3. Genco Shipping & Trading Ltd. (GNK): Shipping Industry. Market cap of $440.22M. On Feb-07-2011, Dahlman Rose downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 15.23%, which implies a short ratio of 3.35 days. The stock has lost -41.28% over the last year.

4. Yongye International, Inc. (YONG): Agricultural Chemicals Industry. Market cap of $336.21M. On Feb-07-2011, Brean Murray downgraded from Buy to Hold. Previously on Dec-12-10, Oppenheimer downgraded from Outperform to Perform. Short float at 15.36%, which implies a short ratio of 7.86 days. The stock has lost -14.34% over the last year.

5. KB Home (KBH): Residential Construction Industry. Market cap of $1.26B. On Feb-03-2011, UBS downgraded from Neutral to Sell. Previously on Jan-01-11, Deutsche Bank reiterated a Hold rating on the stock. Short float at 30.32%, which implies a short ratio of 5.79 days. The stock has lost -13.04% over the last year.

6. Terremark Worldwide, Inc. (TMRK): Telecom Services Industry. Market cap of $1.28B. On Feb-03-2011, Kaufman Bros downgraded from Buy to Sell. Short float at 15.78%, which implies a short ratio of 5.37 days. The stock has gained 176.9% over the last year.

7. JetBlue Airways Corporation (JBLU): Regional Airlines Industry. Market cap of $1.76B. On Feb-01-2011, Argus downgraded from Buy to Hold. Previously on Oct-10-10, Barclays Capital reiterated a Equal Weight rating on the stock. Short float at 18.37%, which implies a short ratio of 8.62 days. The stock has gained 13.26% over the last year.

8. Rubicon Technology, Inc. (RBCN): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $467.98M. On Jan-31-2011, Canaccord Genuity downgraded from Buy to Hold. Previously on Dec-12-10, Oppenheimer downgraded from Outperform to Perform. Short float at 46.88%, which implies a short ratio of 17.53 days. The stock has gained 13.33% over the last year.

9. ITT Educational Services Inc. (ESI): Education and Training Services Industry. Market cap of $2.17B. On Jan-27-2011, Argus downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 19.58%, which implies a short ratio of 6.98 days. The stock has lost -33.4% over the last year.

10. JA Solar Holdings Co., Ltd. (JASO): Semiconductor Industry. Market cap of $1.37B. On Jan-26-2011, Collins Stewart downgraded from Buy to Hold. Previously on Jan-01-11, Barclays Capital reiterated a Equal Weight rating on the stock. Short float at 24.06%, which implies a short ratio of 3.57 days. The stock has gained 51.02% over the last year.

11. MannKind Corp. (MNKD): Biotechnology Industry. Market cap of $480.36M. On Jan-20-2011, Rodman & Renshaw downgraded from Market Outperform to Market Perform. Short float at 25.13%, which implies a short ratio of 4.49 days. The stock has lost -61.77% over the last year.

12. United States Steel Corp. (X): Metal Fabrication Industry. Market cap of $8.95B. On Jan-19-2011, Deutsche Bank downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 16.22%, which implies a short ratio of 2.32 days. The stock has gained 23.02% over the last year.

13. Overseas Shipholding Group Inc. (OSG): Shipping Industry. Market cap of $1.04B. On Jan-12-2011, Dahlman Rose downgraded from Buy to Hold. Previously on Oct-10-10, Deutsche Bank downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 21.97%, which implies a short ratio of 10.28 days. The stock has lost -21.42% over the last year.

14. Zumiez, Inc. (ZUMZ): Apparel Stores Industry. Market cap of $791.29M. On Jan-06-2011, Wedbush downgraded from Neutral to Underperform. Short float at 17.78%, which implies a short ratio of 8.96 days. The stock has gained 79.54% over the last year.

15. Zoltek Companies Inc. (ZOLT): Industrial Electrical Equipment Industry. Market cap of $539.58M. On Jan-04-2011, DA Davidson downgraded from Buy to Neutral. Previously on May-05-10, Dougherty & Company downgraded from Buy to Neutral. Short float at 15.37%, which implies a short ratio of 11.55 days. The stock has gained 77.69% over the last year.

16. Cal-Maine Foods, Inc. (CALM): Farm Products Industry. Market cap of $671.62M. On Dec-28-2010, Morgan Joseph downgraded from Buy to Hold. Short float at 26.53%, which implies a short ratio of 30.4 days. The stock has lost -10.35% over the last year.

17. EnerNOC, Inc. (ENOC): Business Services Industry. Market cap of $498.6M. On Dec-10-2010, Wedbush reiterated an Underperform rating on the stock. Short float at 18.26%, which implies a short ratio of 9.47 days. The stock has lost -30.05% over the last year.

Source: Contrarian Ideas: 17 Stocks Dragged Down by Excessive Pessimism