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.
8. Joe's Jeans ( JOEZ) Company Profile: Joe's Jeans designs, sources and distributes its Joe's and Joe's Jeans branded apparel products, including denim-wear and denim-related products, to over 1,200 retail locations. Earnings Reporting Date: July 11 (confirmed) Current Share Price: 86 cents 2011 Share Price Performance: -44% Analyst Ratings: Three research shops, including Roth Capital Partners, have a "neutral" or "hold" rating on Joe's Jeans. The only other firm with coverage, EVA Dimensions, has a "sell" rating on the stock. What To Watch For: Joe's Jeans saw its operating profit plummet from nearly $2 million in the fourth quarter of 2010 to only $523,000 in the first quarter. That came as revenue fell to $21.2 million while total operating expenses increased due to a jump in SG&A expenses. One transition investors should pay close attention to has been the contribution of the company's retail segment compared to wholesale.
6. Ossen Innovation ( OSN) Company Profile: Ossen Innovation is a China-based manufacturer of an array of plain surface, rare earth and zinc coated pre-stressed steel materials. Earnings Reporting Date: July 15 (unconfirmed) Current Share Price: $3.19 2011 Share Price Performance: -32% Analyst Ratings: Ossen Innovation is followed only by Global Hunter Securities, which rates the stock as a "buy." What To Watch For: Ossen Chairman Liang Tang said he expects the company to grow revenue in 2011 to $138.5 million to $144.6 million, compared with $117.5 million in 2010. Investors should keep an eye on the company's margins as Tang has said he expects gross margins for coated products to increase to 25% to 30% from 23% due to a shortage of coated pre-stressed steel materials.
4. Intervest Bancshares ( IBCA) Company Profile: Intervest Bancshares is the parent company of New York-based Intervest National Bank, a nationally chartered commercial bank that has six full-service banking offices in Clearwater and Gulfport, Fla. Earnings Reporting Date: July 15 (unconfirmed) Current Share Price: $3.50 2011 Share Price Performance: 19% Analyst Ratings: Sandler O'Neill is the lone research shop following Intervest, rating the company a "buy" with a $4 price target. What To Watch For: During the first quarter, Intervest saw the total provision for loan and real estate losses drop to only $2 million from $11.6 million a year ago and $4.7 million in the fourth quarter of 2010. The company said that reflected fewer problem assets and credit rating downgrades. As there isn't a lot more room to reverse those provisions for loan losses, investors will be looking for continued improvements in nonaccrual loans and real estate owned, which fell to $72 million in the first quarter from $154 million a year ago.
2. Silver Bull Resources ( SVBL) Company Profile: Silver Bull Resources is an exploration stage mineral mining company focused on the Sierra Mojado project in Mexico. The company was previously known as Metalline Mining until a name change on May 2. Earnings Reporting Date: July 13 (unconfirmed) Current Share Price: 74 cents 2011 Share Price Performance: -40% Analyst Ratings: Global Hunter Securities is the only research shop following Silver Bull. The firm suggests investors accumulate shares. What To Watch For: Silver Bull has not realized any revenues from its planned operations as it is considered an exploration state company. One area investors will be watching is general and administrative costs, which jumped 73% in the previous quarter to $1.2 million. Because of the increase, the company reported a consolidated net loss of nearly $1.6 million, compared with only $31,000 in the same quarter a year prior.