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TheStreet Open House

5 Earnings Stocks Poised to Pop

First Horizon National

Another earnings short-squeeze play is regional banking player First Horizon National (FHN), which is set to release numbers on Friday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect First Horizon National to report revenue of $338.79 million on earnings of 17 cents per share.

If you're looking for a stock with a decent short interest that's been uptrending heading into its earnings report, then make sure to take a hard look at shares of First Horizon National. This stock has risen 12.8% during the last six months and shares are currently trading just one point off its 52-week high of $10.99 a share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for First Horizon National is rather high at 7.9%. That means that out of the 243.16 million shares in the tradable float, 19.25 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 0.4%, or by about 79,000 shares.

From a technical perspective, FHN is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has ripped higher during the last three months, with shares moving up from its low of $8.90 to its recent high of $10.53 a share. During that move, shares of FHN have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed FHN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're bullish on FHN, then I would wait until after its report and look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $10.25 to $10.53 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above its three-month average action of 3.8 million shares. If that breakout triggers, then FHN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $10.95 to $12 a share.

I would avoid FHN or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout, and then drops back below some key near-term support at its 50-day of $9.66 a share with heavy volume. If we get that move, then FHN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 200-day moving average of $9.13 a share. Any move below its 200-day will then put $8.90 into focus for shares of FHN.

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