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5 Hated Earnings Stocks That Deserve Your Love

With that in mind, here's a look at several stocks that could experience big short squeezes when they report earnings this week.

>>5 Huge Stocks Ready to Rocket Higher


My first earnings short-squeeze trade today is Conn's (CONN - Get Report), a specialty retailer of durable consumer products, which is set to release numbers on Wednesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Conn's to report revenue of $246.91 million on earnings of 56 cents per share.

>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts

During the last quarter, Conn's reported revenue of $206.4 million, and GAAP reported sales were 11% higher than the prior-year quarter's $186.6 million. Also during the last quarter, gross margin came in at 45.9% or 930 basis points better than the prior-year-quarter.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Conn's is extremely high at 31.7%. That means that out of the 26.36 million shares in the tradable float, 7.03 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 4.7%, or by about 316,000 shares. If the short-sellers are caught pressing their bets into a bullish quarter, then we could easily see a monster short-squeeze develop post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, CONN is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last three months, with shares soaring higher from its low of $27.44 to its recent high of $37.91 a share. During that uptrend, shares of CONN have been mostly making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CONN within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're bullish on CONN, 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 $37 to $37.91 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 474,957 shares. If that breakout hits, then CONN will set up to enter new 52-week high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $45 to $50 a share.
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