>>5 Stocks Poised for Breakouts

With that in mind, here's a look at several stocks that could experience big short squeezes when they report earnings this week.


My first earnings short-squeeze trade idea is photomasks maker Photronics ( PLAB), which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Photronics to report revenue of $106.05 million on earnings of 8 cents per share.

About a month ago, Needham downgraded shares of Photronics to hold from buy following the company's negative preannouncement. Needham anticipates that Photronics will face some near-term challenges and may not generate EPS over 80 cents per share until fiscal year 2015.

>>5 Stocks Under $10 Set to Soar

The current short interest as a percentage of the float Photronics is pretty high at 11.9%. That means that out of the 59.69 million shares in the tradable float, 7.38 million shares are sold short by the bears. This is a high short interest on a stock with a relatively low float. Any bullish earnings news could easily spark a large short-squeeze for shares of PLAB post-earnings.

From a technical perspective, PLAB is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending over the last three months and change, with shares moving higher from its low of $7.03 to its recent high of $8.89 a share. During that uptrend, shares of PLAB have been making mostly higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed shares of PLAB within range of triggering a near-term breakout trade post-earnings.

If you're bullish on PLAB, 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 $8.74 to its 52-week high at $8.89 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 212,683 shares. If that breakout hits, then PLAB will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that move are $13 to $14 a share.

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