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5 Stocks Poised to Pop on Bullish Earnings

Pinnacle Financial Partners

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My final earnings short-squeeze trade idea today is regional banking player Pinnacle Financial Partners (PNFP), which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. This company provides a range of banking services, including investment, mortgage, and insurance services, and wealth management services, in its primary market areas of the Nashville-Davidson-Murfreesboro-Franklin, Tennessee and Knoxville, Tennessee. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Pinnacle Financial Partners to report revenue of $314.46 million on earnings of 44 cents per share.

This stock is up over 20% during the last six months, and the stock is currently trading just 50 cents off its 52-week high of $19.84 a share. The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Pinnacle Financial Partners is pretty high at 9.4%. That means that out of the 31.93 million shares in the tradable float, 3.03 million are sold short by the bears.

From a technical perspective, PNFP is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock recently found some big buying interest at around $16.65 a share and the stock subsequently soared to its recent high of $19.84 a share. During that sharp move higher, shares of PFNP have been making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed PNFP within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade.

If you're bullish on PNFP, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if it can manage to trigger a break out above some near-term overhead resistance at $19.84, or above 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 154,225 shares. If we get that action, then PFNP could hit $23 to $25 a share if it continues its uptrend post-earnings.

I would simply avoid PNFP or look for short-biased trades if it fails to trigger that breakout, and then moves back below some major near-term support at $18.63 a share with high-volume. If we get that move, then PNFP will setup to re-test and possibly take out its 50-day moving average of $17.82 a share post-earnings.

To see more potential earnings short squeeze plays, check out the Earnings Short Squeeze Plays portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.
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