Vantiv

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Another potential earnings short-squeeze trade is integrated payment processor Vantiv ( VNTV), which is set to release its numbers on Wednesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Vantiv to report revenue of $274.10 million on earnings of 34 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Vantiv is pretty high at 10%. That means that out of the 62.55 million shares in the tradable float, 6.19 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 24.5%, or by about 1.21 million shares. If the sellers are caught leaning too hard into a strong quarter, then shares of VNTV could explode higher post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, VNTV is currently trending above its 50-day moving average and just below its 200-day moving average, which is neutral trendwise. This stock has been trending sideways in a consolidation pattern for the last two months and change, with shares moving between $21.88 on the upside and $19.55 on the downside. A high-volume move above the upper-end of that sideways chart pattern could trigger a breakout trade for VNTV post-earnings.

If you're in the bull camp on VNTV, 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 $21.67 to $21.88 a share and then once it clears more resistance at $22.15 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average volume of 767,898 shares. If that breakout hits, then VNTV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at $23.74 to $24.43 a share. Any high-volume move above $24.43 will then push shares of VNTV into new all-time high territory, which is bullish technical price action.

I would simply avoid VNTV or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below its 50-day moving average at $20.82 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then VNTV will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major support levels at $19.55 to $18.85 a share.

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