First up is Dick's Sporting Goods (DKS - Get Report), a volatile stock that is slated to report third-quarter earnings on Tuesday. Dick's is not your typical retailer, as it caterers to a wide group of consumers, specializing in everything from sports gear to mountain apparel. This broad-based product diversification has allowed Dick's to successfully weather small downturns in consumer spending.
With roughly 21 million shares short, a gigantic short position of 20%, Dick's is posed to move higher as an earnings play. For starters, estimates in the broader retail sector are so low that even the slight bits of good news could propel this stock higher. Dick's has consistently beaten earnings and offered good guidance even while the overall retail sector has been bad. I suspect the same could happen next week.
With $3.5 billion in sales and profit and operation margins slightly above industry standards, it is no wonder that super hedge fund Maverick Capital has a nice size position in Dick's.
Remember, Dick's is not your typical retailer, and thus it should not be treated like one!Next up is Hewlett-Packard (HPQ - Get Report), which is set to report quarterly earnings on Monday after the market close. Trading better then the Nasdaq, H-P is a play off overall global PC demand. Recent earnings from Nividia (NVDA) and EMC (EMC) suggest that Microsoft's (MSFT) Windows Vista has sold more units than expected. Hewlett-Packard has been trading sideways ever since Goldman Sachs took it off its conviction buy list and replaced it with Dell (DELL) a few weeks ago. While Goldman still kept its buy rating on the stock, this "de-listing" from the conviction buy list gave people an unjustified reason to sell.