Stock market bears hate being caught short a stock that announces a positive earnings report. 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 get caught short once a bullish earnings report sparks a sharp short-covering rally.

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

With that in mind, here's a look at five:

Tiffany & Co.

My first earnings short-squeeze trade idea is jewelry stores operator Tiffany & Co. (TIF - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers  Wednesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Tiffany & Co. to report revenue of $913.44 million on earnings of 70 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Tiffany & Co. stands at 4.2%. That means that out of the 123.52 million shares in the tradable float, 5.24 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Tiffany & Co. reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some key resistance levels at $95 to its 52-week high of $97.29 with volume that hits near or above 1.70 million shares. If that breakout hits post-earnings, this stock will set up to make a run at $105 to $110, or even $115 a share.

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KLX

Another potential earnings short-squeeze play is industrial goods player KLX (KLXI) , which is set to release numbers on Wednesday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect KLX to report revenue of $411.63 million on earnings of 30 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for KLX is notable at 7.9%. That means that out of the 51.04 million shares in the tradable float, 4.07 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after KLX reports, and then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above some key resistance levels at $49.20 to its all-time high of $52.40 with volume that hits near or above 447,577 million shares. If that breakout fires off post-earnings, this stock will set up to make a run at $55 to $60, or even $65 a share.

ViaSat

Another potential earnings short-squeeze candidate is communications equipment player ViaSat (VSAT - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect ViaSat to report revenue of $400.86 million on earnings of 28 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for ViaSat is very high at 16.7%. That means out of the 36.53 million shares in the tradeable float, 6.10 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after ViaSat reports, then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 20-day at $64.75 to some more key resistance levels at $65.81 to $66.07 with volume that hits near or above 369,730 shares. If that breakout hits post-earnings, then this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its next major overhead resistance levels at its 200-day of $69.02 to $69.72, or even $75 a share.

Patterson Companies

Another earnings short-squeeze prospect is medical equipment player Patterson Companies (PDCO - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Patterson Companies to report revenue of $1.47 billion on earnings of 65 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Patterson Companies is pretty high at 13%. That means that out of 81.01 million shares in the tradeable float, 10.53 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Patterson Companies reports, then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 50-day at $44.25 to some more key resistance levels at $45.58 to $45.86 with volume that hits near or above 858,095 shares. If that breakout develops post-earnings, this stock will set up to re-test or possibly take out its 52-week high of $50.40 to $55, or even $60 a share.

Best Buy

My final earnings short-squeeze trading opportunity is electronics stores operator Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Best Buy to report revenue of $8.27 billion on earnings of 40 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Best Buy is pretty high, at 13.2%. That means that out of the 268.91 million shares in the tradeable float, 35.59 million shares are sold short by the bears.

I would wait until after Best Buy reports, then look for long-biased trades if this stock manages to break out above its 52-week high of $52.67 with volume that hits near or above 4.25 million shares. If that breakout triggers post-earnings, this stock will set up to make a run at $60 to $65, or even $70 a share.

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