Starved for Attention

 | Oct 26, 2012 | 3:30 PM EDT
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There are always plenty of companies that show good chart action and yet don't get much love from the media. Around earnings season, it's worth checking to see how these companies' stocks perform after they report.

Next week, several of those "hiding in plain sight" companies are scheduled to deliver results, and among them is Eagle Materials (EXP). The maker of cement products and drywall is due to report its second quarter after the close Monday, with analysts eyeing per-share income of $0.47 on revenue of $167.66 million. These would mark be significant gains over the year-earlier quarter. Note that Eagle missed analysts' views in three of the past four quarters.

Eagle's market capitalization is $2.4 billion, and it trades about 604,000 shares per day. The stock rallied to a multiyear high of $51.07 last week. It is currently extended from any reasonable technical buy point.

If Eagle makes a leap next week after the report, watch for the next moving-average pullback before you attempt a buy. Alternately, three or more weeks in a row of tight weekly closes could signal an opportunity.

Over in tech, Israel-based Allot Communications (ALLT) is scheduled to report Tuesday before the open. The company makes network-optimization and traffic-management gear.

The stock has lost about 10% so far in October and closed Thursday at $23.80, just above its 200-day moving average. The shares last bounced off that key price line in August, and went on to reach its Sept. 10 high of $29.05.

When it reports, scheduled for Tuesday, analysts expect income of $0.14 per share on revenue of $27.73 million. The company beat views in each of the past four quarters.

Allot has advanced 58% so far this year. It can show volatile trade, as evidenced by its beta of 1.54, and it's a small company, with a market cap of $758 million. It trades 374,000 shares per day, on average, which is not bad liquidity for a stock with a market cap that small.

At this juncture, I'm tracking the support at that 200-day line. The last time Allot breached support at that key price line, in the summer of 2011, the stock based for two months before beginning a rebound.

Also before Tuesday's open is mid-cap IPG Photonics (IPGP). The company, a maker of fiber-optic lasers for scientific and industrial use, is expected to earn $0.80 per share on revenue of $151.16 million in the third quarter. IPG Photonics beat views in three of the past four quarters and, according to recent reports, the company has been on a hiring binge.

This is yet another stock potentially volatile stock, with a beta of 1.80. It rallied to a 52-week high of $65.77 on Sept. 14, and then pulled back to fund support above its 200-day moving average. Shares rebounded off that line last week, and are now hovering above that line, and its 50-day average.

The stock has some work to do before regaining its prior high, but even with a gap higher, it could remain in a buy range even if it delivers a better-than-expected report Tuesday.

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