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Actionable news in PLAY: DAVE & BUSTER'S ENTERTAINMENT Inc,

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Conn's

My first earnings short-squeeze trade idea is specialty retailer Conn's (CONN) , which is set to release numbers on Thursday before the market open. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Conn's to report revenue of $413.12 million on a loss of 7 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Conn's is extremely high at 33%. That means that out of the 18.84 million shares in the tradable float, 6.22 million shares are sold short by the bears. The bears have also been increasing their bets from the last reporting period by 4.2%, or by about 252,000 shares. If the bears get caught pressing their bets into a bullish quarter, then this stock could easily rip sharply higher post-earnings as the bears run to cover some of their positions.

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From a technical perspective, Conn's is currently trending below both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bearish. This stock recently formed a double bottom chart pattern, after shares found some buying interest at $6.55 to $6.54 a share over the last month and change. Following that potential bottom, this stock has started to trend modestly higher and briefly trade back above its 20-day moving average of $6.83 a share. Shares of Conn's are now starting to trend within range of triggering a big breakout trade post-earnings above some key overhead resistance levels.

If you're bullish on Conn's, 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 $6.92 to $7.20 a share and then above more key resistance at $7.70 a share with high volume. Look for volume on that move that hits near or above its three-month average action of 654,535 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 levels at $8.60 to $9.24, or even $10 to $11 a share.

I would simply avoid Conn's or look for short-biased trades if after earnings it fails to trigger that breakout and then drops back below its new 52-week low of $6.54 a share with high volume. If we get that move, then this stock will set up to enter new 52-week-low territory, which is bearish technical price action.


Dave & Buster's Entertainment

Another potential earnings short-squeeze play is entertainment and dining venues operator Dave & Buster's Entertainment (PLAY) , which is set to release numbers on Tuesday after the market close. Wall Street analysts, on average, expect Dave & Buster's Entertainment to report revenue of $243.14 million on earnings of 44 cents per share.

The current short interest as a percentage of the float for Dave & Buster's Entertainment is pretty high at 12.1%. That means that out of the 38.47 million shares in the tradable float, 4.67 million shares are sold short by the bears.

From a technical perspective, Dave & Buster's Entertainment is currently trending above both its 50-day and 200-day moving averages, which is bullish. This stock has been uptrending over the last month and change, with shares moving higher off its low of $40.95 a share to its intraday high on Tuesday of $47.30 a share. During that uptrend, shares of Dave & Buster's Entertainment have been consistently making higher lows and higher highs, which is bullish technical price action. That move has now pushed this stock within range of triggering a big breakout trade post-earnings.

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