Stockpickr) -- There have been a lot of eyes on the mobile phone industry in the last year. From the very high-profile failed merger attempt by
AT&T (T) and
T-Mobile to massive volatility in shares of
Sprint Nextel (S), it's no surprise that cell phone stocks have Wall Street's attention right now.
Revenue growth has also been a major reason for investors' infatuation with mobile communications companies. As the penetration rate on cell phones increased domestically, legacy telcos have seen their businesses shift from primarily landline sales to primarily mobile sales. A rising tide of mobile phone sales has essentially lifted all ships in the industry over the last decade.
But not all cellular stocks are created equal -- and right now, investors are heavily shorting plenty of names. That's creating an opportunity for a short squeeze.
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In case you're not familiar with the term, a short squeeze is the buying frenzy that ensues when a heavily shorted stock starts to look attractive again to investors, causing share price to skyrocket. One of the best indicators of just how high a short-squeezed stock could go is the short-interest ratio, which estimates the number of days it would take for short-sellers to cover their positions. The higher the short ratio, the higher the potential profits when the shorts get squeezed.
(Stockpickr also highlighted several short-squeeze opportunities in yesterday's "
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Naturally, these plays aren't without their blemishes -- there's a reason that these stocks are being heavily shorted. But for investors looking for exposure to a speculative play with a beefier risk/reward tradeoff, these could be powerful upside plays for the coming year.
Without further ado, here's a look at our list of
mobile phone short-squeeze opportunities for 2012