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5 Earnings Stocks the Bears Love to Hate

Francesca's

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Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is specialty retailer Francesca's (FRAN), which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Francesca's to report revenue of $84.92 million on earnings of 30 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Francesca's is extremely high at 45.6%. That means that out of the 34.79 million shares in the tradable float, 15.86 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is a stock with a very high short interest and a relatively low tradable float. Any bullish earnings news could spark a monster short-squeeze for shares of FRAN post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, FRAN is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock has been trending sideways for the last month and change, with shares moving between $24 on the downside and $28.46 on the upside. A high-volume move above the upper-end of its recent range could trigger a near-term breakout trade for shares of FRAN post-earnings.

If you're bullish on FRAN, 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 $27.16 to $28.46 a share and then once it clears more resistance at $29.25 to $29.79 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that registers near or above its three-month average action of 950,244 shares. If that breakout triggers, then FRAN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $32 to $34 a share.

I would avoid FRAN 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 levels at $26 to $23.92 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then FRAN will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $22.31 to its 52-week low at $20.93 a share.

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