Cintas

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Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is business support services player Cintas ( CTAS), which is set to release numbers on Thursday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Cintas to report revenue of $1.10 billion on earnings of 63 cents per share.

>>4 Stocks Within Range of Breakouts

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Cintas stands at 5.6%. That means that out of the 102.38 million shares in the tradable float, 5.70 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 2.5%, or by about 136,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a strong quarter, then shares of CTAS could move up sharply higher post-earnings as the bears move to cover some of those bets.

From a technical perspective, CTAS is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending strong for the last six months, with shares moving higher from its low of $42.35 to its recent high of $50.80 a share. During that uptrend, shares of CTAS have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of CTAS within range of triggering a big breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're bullish on CTAS, 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 $61 to $62.27 a share and then once it takes its 52-week high at $50.80 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 458,136 shares. If that breakout hits, then CTAS will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $60 to $65 a share.

I would simply avoid CTAS or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below some key near-term support at $49.50 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then CTAS will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 50-day at $48.32 share to more near-term support levels at $47.64 to $47 a share.

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