Vocus

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My final earnings short-squeeze candidate today is Vocus ( VOCS), which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the close. This company is a provider of cloud-based software for public relations management. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Vocus to report revenue of $30.23 million on earnings of 22 cents per share.

Shares of Vocus are currently trading at $22.87 a share, which is well off its 52-week high of $33.70 a share as we approach its earnings report. Despite that fact, the stock is within range of a near-term breakout post-earnings if the bulls get the news they're looking for.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Vocus is notable at 6.1%. That means that out of the 18.85 million shares in the tradable float, 1.15 million shares are sold short by the bears. This stock has an extremely low float and decent short interest, so a bullish report could spark a solid short-squeeze.

From a technical perspective, VOCS is currently trading right under its 200-day moving average and above its 50-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock hit a low in October at $15.61 a share, and since then it has uptrend towards its current price of $23.87. During that uptrend, shares of VOCS have mostly made higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish price action. Now the stock is within range of triggering a big breakout post-earnings.

If you're bullish on VOCS, I would look for long-biased trades after its earnings report if the stock manages to break out above $23.72 to $24.50 on high-volume. Look for volume that's tracking in close to or above its three-month average action of 151,715 shares. If we get that high-volume breakout, then look for VOCS to make a run at $30 a share or possibly higher of the bulls gain full control of the stock post-earnings.

I would avoid VOCS or look for short biased trades if after earnings the stock fails to break out and then trades back below its 50-day at $22.01 and below some near-term support at $21.80 a share with high-volume. Target a drop back toward its $21 to $20 a share or possibly lower if the bears sell this stock off hard post-earnings.

To see more potential earnings short squeeze plays, including NxStage Medical ( NXTM), SodaStream International ( SODA) and American Public Education ( APEI), check out the Earnings Short Squeeze Plays portfolio on Stockpickr.

-- Written by Roberto Pedone in Winderemere, Fla.

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At the time of publication, author had no positions in stocks mentioned.

Roberto Pedone, based out of Windermere, Fla., is an independent trader who focuses on stocks, options, futures, commodities and currencies. He is also an outside contributor to Beconequity.com and maintains the website Maddmoney.net, which he sold to Blue Wave Advisors in 2008. Roberto studied International Business at The Milwaukee School of Engineering, and he spent a year overseas studying business in Lubeck, Germany.

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