A potential earnings short-squeeze trade in the iron and steel complex is Worthington Industries (WOR), which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. This is a diversified metals processing company, focused on steel value-added steel processing and manufactured metal products. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Worthington Industries to report revenue of $682.41 million on earnings of 53 cents per share.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Worthington Industries is pretty high at 9.8%. That means that out of the 51.97 million shares in the tradable float, 5.10 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 3.6%, or by about 179,000 shares. If the bears are caught leaning too hard into this quarter, then we could easily see a sharp short squeeze develop for WOR post-earnings.>>5 Foreign Stocks That Could Pop This Summer From a technical perspective, WOR is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock recently hit a low of $15.45 a share, and since then it has rallied back above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages. That move has now pushed WOR within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings. If you're bullish on WOR, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock can manage to trigger a break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $17.63 to $17.94 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 657,928 shares. If we get that action, then WOR has a solid chance of hitting $19 to $19.85 a share post-earnings if the bulls gain full control of this stock. I would avoid WOR or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout, and then drops below its 50-day at $17.03 and its 200-day at $16.87 a share with high-volume. If we get that move, then look for WOR to re-test and possibly take out its recent low of $15.45 a share if the bears hammer this stock down post-earnings.
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