Stocks often run up the week before earnings. This can be a very predictable trading strategy no different than playing volatile biotechs as they walk up the charts prior to FDA rulings.
In the two weeks before Chinese Internet stars Baidu (NASDAQ:BIDU) and Sohu.com (NASDAQ:SOHU) reported Q3 earnings, each stock pulled back roughly 12% in the first five days before running up 17% and 25% respectively in the second five days just before the earnings announcement.
If you’re like me, then you look for great opportunities to play the swings on stocks running into earnings season.
If we start two weeks out, just like the two above, Renren (NYSE:RENN) shows a similar pattern heading into its earnings report this Thursday. Renren however, has pulled back more aggressively than Baidu and Sohu.com combined or about 26%.
With four days remaining before Renren reports Q3 earnings, I’m looking for shares to rebound from Friday’s low of $5.18. I’m not saying that I necessarily want to hold the stock going into the earnings call, but I think it is a good short term set up for the stock prior to that event.
China, unlike the United States, is growing extremely fast and most Internet stocks in that space are growing even faster. Baidu reported stellar numbers for Q3 and excellent Q4 guidance. Internet portal Sohu.com reported briskly growing Q3 numbers on a 19% increase in net income thanks to strong online advertising and online gaming.
Renren operates an Internet website. Coming of a red hot IPO earlier in the year, they are currently sitting on over $1 billion in cash and no debt. For a small company like RENN, I feel that is a massive backstop even if they remain unprofitable for the foreseeable future.
Their real-time social networking website offers users the ability to communicate, share information and content, play online games, listen to music, shop for deals, and use other services.
Here is a closer look at how Baidu and Sohu.com traded in the ten days before they reported and why I think Renren could be set up to do the same. These are hourly charts.
Baidu, Inc. (NASDAQ:BIDU) reported Q3 earnings on Thursday 10/27/11. From Friday 10/14/11 to Thursday 10/20/11 two weeks before earnings shares pulled back 12% from high of $138.53 to a low of $121.66. Then the week before earnings from Friday 10/21/11 to Thursday 10/27/11 shares ran up 17% from a low of $119.58 to a high of $140.00 before running another 5.5% after the earnings announcement.
Sohu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:SOHU) reported Q3 earnings on Monday 10/31/11. From Monday 10/17/11 to Friday 10/21/11 two weeks before earnings shares pulled back 13% from a high of $61.90 to a low $53.75. Then the week before earnings from Monday 10/24/11 to Friday 10/28/11 shares ran up 25% from a low of $55.50 to a high of $69.48.
Renren, Inc. (NASDAQ:RENN) reports Q3 earnings on Thursday 11/10/11 after the market close. From Friday 10/28/11 to Thursday 11/3/11 two weeks before earnings shares pulled back 26% from a high of $7.20 to a low of $5.31. If RENN follows BIDU and SOHU in walking up the five days before earnings then it’ll have resistance between $5.75 and $6.50 before it could recover the gap down heading into Thursday’s report.