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TheStreet Open House

5 Heavily Shorted Stocks That Could Pop on Earnings

Stocks in this article: PLABQIHUSINAHOTTCSIQ

Sina

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Heavily shorted Chinese Internet stock Sina (SINA) is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. This company provides online media and mobile value-added services in the People's Republic of China. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Sina to report revenue of $114.71 million on earnings of 19 cents per share. This stock is taking a big hit today, with the shares down around 9%, as traders take their cues from a disappointing earnings result out of another Chinese Internet player E-Commerce China Dangang (DANG). This hit to Sina could be unwarranted if the company can deliver a strong quarter and if management can convince Wall Street that it has a plan to leverage its 140 million users with new social media offerings.

The big story with Sina is its Sina Weibo mircoblog service, which is often compared to Twitter. The company has been investing big in monetizing Weibo with the launch of a virtual cash and e-commerce platform. Those moves could be the key to a strong quarter.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Sina is a notable 10.2%. That means that out of the 54.20 million shares in the tradable float, 5.7 million are sold short by the bears.

From a technical standpoint, this stock is currently trading below its 50-day moving average and above its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. The stock recently found some buying support at $82 a share and run up to a high of $106.99 a share.

If you're bullish on Sina, I would wait until it reports and would be a bigger buyer of this stock if it trades above $106.99 a share on big volume. Look for volume that's close to or well above the three-month average action of 8.5 million shares. I would add to any long position if it then moves above $110 and target $125 if it continues to trend higher after earnings.

I would only short this name if you see it drop below the 200-day moving average ($93.65) on big volume following its earnings report. I would add to any shorts if it takes out $90 a share and target $82 to $77 a share if the bears take this stock over after earnings.

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