Pacira Pharmaceuticals

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My final earnings short-squeeze candidate is biotechnology and drugs player Pacira Pharmaceuticals ( PCRX), which just released numbers on Tuesday morning. This is a pharmaceutical company engaged in the development, commercialization, and manufacture of pharmaceutical products for hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers.

Pacira Pharma missed Wall Street estimates for the fourth quarter after reporting a loss of 72 cents vs. the consensus for a loss of 54 cents. Revenue was slightly better than Wall Street estimates at $4.23 million vs. the consensus of $4.05 million. The company also said that it expects to initiate the commercial launch of Exparel in the U.S. during the week of April 9. Exparel was approved by the FDA in October 2011.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Pacira Pharmaceuticals is pretty high at 12.6%. That means that out of the 12.08 million shares in the tradable float, 1.83 million are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 2.7%, or by about 48,000 shares.

From a technical perspective, PCRX is currently trading above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has found some decent buying interest over the last two months at around $10 a share. The stock has also been making higher highs and higher lows over those two months, which is bullish price action. Now PCRX is trading within range of a big breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're bullish on PCRX, I would look for long-biased trades after its report if it can manage to break out above $12.01 to $12.10 a share with high-volume. Look for volume that registers close to or above its three-month average volume of 126,650 shares. If we get that action, I would then add to any long positions once PCRX takes out $13 a share with volume. A move over $13 will give PCRX a great chance to re-test its all-time high of $15.34 in the near future.

I would simply avoid PCRX or look for short-biased trades after its report if the stock fails to break out and then drops below $10, and its 200-day moving average of $9.68 a share with high-volume. Target a drop back towards $8.50 a share or lower if the bears hammer this down post-earnings.

To see more potential earnings short squeeze plays, including Sealy ( ZZ), Family Dollar Stores ( FDO) and Charming Shoppes ( CHRS), 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 and maintains the website, 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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