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One potential earnings short-squeeze play in the forestry and wood products complex is
Universal Forest Products(UFPI - Get Report), which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. This company, through its subsidiaries, designs, manufactures, and markets wood and wood-alternative products, and other building products for retail building home centers and other retailers, manufactured housing, and industrial markets. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Universal Forest Products to report revenue of $620.27 million on earnings of 71 cents per share.
This stock has been on fire so far in 2012 with shares up over 27%, and this stock is currently trading just 40 cents off its
52-week high of $40 a share.
The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Universal Forest Products is worth mentioning at 6.4%. That means that out of the 17.80 million shares in the tradable float, 1.15 million shares are sold short by the bears. This stock has a decent short interest and a very low float available for trading. If this company can product the numbers the bulls are looking for, then we could easily see a sharp short-squeeze setup post-earnings.
From a technical perspective, UFPI is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last five months, with shares soaring from a low of $29.24 to a recent high of $40 a share. During that move, shares of UFPI have consistently made higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed UFPI within range of
triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings.
If you're in the bull camp on UFPI, then I would look for long-biased trades after earnings if this stock manages to hit a new
52-week high on high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above its three-month average action of 111,740 shares. If we get that move, then UFPI could easily trade up back towards its 2010 high of $45.50 a share.
I would simply avoid UFPI or look for short-biased trades after earnings the stock fails to trigger that breakout, and then moves back below its 50-day moving average of $37.67 a share with high-volume. If we get that move, then UFPI could take out some more near-term support at $36.73, and then fall towards $33.57 a share post-earnings.