BOSTON ( TheStreet) -- Alcoa ( AA), the largest U.S. producer of aluminum, kicks off the quarterly earnings-reporting season after the closing bell today. That's the signal for investors to prepare for a flurry of financial reports this week. Those with holdings of stocks under $5 need to be especially well-prepared.Trading in stocks under $5 can already be volatile due to a myriad of reasons, from a small number of shares outstanding to scant analyst coverage to speculation on rapid growth. Earnings results can also lead to big swings in share price. For example, Oilsands Quest ( BQI) shares have fallen more than 21% since the company reported operating results July 6.
10. Simulations Plus ( SLP) Company Profile: Simulations Plus is a developer of drug discovery and development simulation and modeling software. Earnings Reporting Date: July 14 (unconfirmed) Current Share Price: $2.97 2011 Share Price Performance: 10.4% Analyst Ratings: Taglich Brothers is the only research firm with coverage of Simulations Plus, rating the stock a "speculative buy" with a $4.05 price target. What To Watch For: Simulations Plus already reported preliminary results for its fiscal third quarter, although the company did not release net income figures due to uncertainty of income taxes. Simulations Plus did say that the company was profitable for a 15th straight quarter, and that revenue rose 10% from a year ago to $3.4 million.