Short-sellers hate being caught short a stock that reports a blowout quarter. When this happens, we often see a tradable short squeeze develop as the bears rush to cover their positions. Even the best short-sellers know, it's never a great idea to stay short once a bullish earnings report sparks a big short-covering rally.

This is why I scan the market for heavily shorted stocks that are about to report earnings. You only need to find a few of these stocks every week to help enhance your portfolio returns.

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

International Game Technology

My first earnings short-squeeze trade idea is gaming activities player International Game Technology (IGT - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect International Game Technology to report revenue of $1.33 billion on earnings of 52 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float is International Game Technology sits at 2.3%. That means that out of the 96.13 million shares in the tradable float, 2.27 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after International Game Technology reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term overhead resistance levels at $27.86 to $28.15 a share with volume that hits near or above 888,065 shares. If that breakout develops post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high of $32.07 a share.

Amplify Snack Brands

Another potential earnings short-squeeze trading opportunity is consumer goods player Amplify Snack Brands (BETR) , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Amplify Snack Brands to report revenue of $87.28 million on earnings of 10 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Amplify Snack Brands is extremely high at 31.8%. That means that out of the 29.14 million shares in the tradable float, 9.28 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Amplify Snack Brands reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break above a downtrend line that will start at $10 to $10.50 a share with volume that hits near or above 555,425 shares. If that breakout hits post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major resistance level at $11.35 a share. Any high-volume move above $11.35 will then give this stock a chance to re-fill some of its previous gap-down-day zone from last November that started near $14 a share.

Finisar

Another potential earnings short-squeeze candidate is networking and communication devices player Finisar (FNSR - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Finisar to report revenue of $389.55 million on earnings of 62 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Finisar is notable at 10.4%. That means that out of the 109.27 million shares in the tradable float, 11.38 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Finisar reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $35.56 to $36.41 and then above its 52-week high of $36.85 a share with volume that hits near or above 2.98 million shares. If that breakout fires off post-earnings, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-high territory, which is bullish technical price action. Some possible upside targets off that breakout are $40 to $45, or even $50 a share.

Tailored Brands

Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is specialty apparel retailer Tailored Brands (TLRD - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Tailored Brands to report revenue of $811.30 million on a loss of 12 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Tailored Brands is extremely high at 31.2%. That means that out of 41.07 million shares in the tradable float, 12.84 million shares are sold short by the bear.

I would wait until after Tailored Brands reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance levels at $24 to $24.11 a share with volume that hits near or above 1.65 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance level at its 52-week high of $28.76 a share.

AeroVironment

My final earnings short-squeeze play is industrial goods player AeroVironment (AVAV - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect AeroVironment to report revenue of $50.66 million on a loss of 34 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for AeroVironment stands at 10.5%. That means that out of the 20.37 million shares in the tradable float, 2.14 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after AeroVironment reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some near-term resistance at $27 to $27.66 and then above $28.20 a share with volume that hits near or above 155,705 shares. If that breakout fires off post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major resistance levels at $29.50 to $30, or even its 52-week high of $32.44 a share.

This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.