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Over 400 companies are reporting their earnings this week as we finish the second week of Q3 earnings season – are you following a watch list?

For ideas, we screened this week’s reporting companies for those seeing recently bullish changes in sentiment from options traders. We screened for companies seeing significant decreases in put/call ratio over the last ten trading days.

Interactive Chart: Press Play to compare changes in analyst ratings over the last two years for the top six stocks mentioned below. Analyst ratings sourced from Zacks Investment Research.‬

We also created a price-weighted index of the stocks mentioned below, and monitored the performance of the list relative to the S&P 500 index over the last month. To access a complete analysis of this list's recent performance, click here.


(Click to enlarge)

Do you think options traders are expecting strong earnings from these companies, and if so, do you agree? Use this list as a starting-off point for your own analysis.

List sorted by market cap.

1. Dover Corp. (NYSE:DOV): Manufactures and sells industrial products and components, and consumables. Market cap of $9.63B. Earnings to be reported on 10/21. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.66 to 0.52 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -21.21%. The stock has lost 1.46% over the last year.

2. Core Laboratories NV (NYSE:CLB): Provides reservoir description, production enhancement, and reservoir management products and services to the oil and gas industry worldwide. Market cap of $4.81B. Earnings to be reported on 10/19. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.42 to 0.32 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -23.81%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 9.56% (equivalent to 6.9 days of average volume). The stock has gained 15.62% over the last year.

3. Gentex Corp. (NASDAQ:GNTX): Designs, develops, manufactures, and markets electro-optical products to automotive, commercial building, and aircraft industries in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $3.99B. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.71 to 0.50 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -29.58%. The stock has gained 32.21% over the last year.

4. Gardner Denver Inc. (NYSE:GDI): Designs, manufactures, and markets engineered industrial machinery and related parts and services primarily in North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Africa, and Australia. Market cap of $3.89B. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.41 to 0.32 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -21.95%. The stock has gained 36.15% over the last year.

5. Cypress Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:CY): Operates as a semiconductor company in the United States and internationally. Market cap of $2.82B. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.46 to 0.32 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -30.43%. The stock has had a couple of great days, gaining 5.25% over the last week.

6. Cubist Pharmaceuticals Inc. (CBST): Operates as a biopharmaceutical company focused on the research, development, and commercialization of pharmaceutical products that address unmet medical needs in the acute care environment. Market cap of $2.24B. Earnings to be reported on 10/19. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.33 to 0.28 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -15.15%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 14.57% (equivalent to 7.68 days of average volume). The stock has gained 44.95% over the last year.

7. athenahealth, Inc. (NASDAQ:ATHN): Provides ongoing billing, clinical-related, and other related services to medical group practices primarily in the United States. Market cap of $2.16B. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.56 to 0.33 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -41.07%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 18.95% (equivalent to 8.27 days of average volume). The stock has performed poorly over the last month, losing 10.19%.

8. Cytec Industries Inc. (NYSE:CYT): Engages in developing, manufacturing, and selling chemical products worldwide. Market cap of $1.85B. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.70 to 0.18 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -74.29%. The stock has lost 36.55% over the last year.

9. Sensient Technologies Corporation (NYSE:SXT): Manufactures and markets colors, flavors, and fragrances worldwide. Market cap of $1.73B. Earnings to be reported on 10/21. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.71 to 0.48 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -32.39%. The stock has gained 10.69% over the last year.

10. RSC Holdings, Inc. (NYSE:RRR): Engages in the rental of construction and industrial equipment primarily in the United States and Canada. Market cap of $939.21M. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 1.57 to 0.20 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -87.26%. The stock has recently rebounded, and is currently trading 12.44% above its SMA20 and 15.47% above its SMA50. However, the stock still trades 20.08% below its SMA200. The stock has had a good month, gaining 12.42%.

11. USG Corporation (NYSE:USG): Engages in the manufacture and distribution of building materials worldwide. Market cap of $831.79M. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.63 to 0.46 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -26.98%. This is a risky stock that is significantly more volatile than the overall market (beta = 2.66). The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 17.11% (equivalent to 7.21 days of average volume). The stock has lost 34.33% over the last year.

12. Briggs & Stratton Corp. (NYSE:BGG): Designs, manufactures, markets, and services air cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment worldwide. Market cap of $738.61M. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.47 to 0.27 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -42.55%. Offers a good dividend, and appears to have good liquidity to back it up--dividend yield at 3.01%, current ratio at 2.81, and quick ratio at 1.57. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 12.22% (equivalent to 8.39 days of average volume). The stock has lost 19.38% over the last year.

13. Lattice Semiconductor Corporation (NASDAQ:LSCC): Designs, develops, manufactures, and markets programmable logic products and related software. Market cap of $683.66M. Earnings to be reported on 10/20. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.13 to 0.07 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -46.15%. The stock is a short squeeze candidate, with a short float at 6.32% (equivalent to 5.3 days of average volume). The stock has gained 13.11% over the last year.

14. Nash Finch Co. (NASDAQ:NAFC): Operates as a wholesale food distributor in the United States. Market cap of $305.56M. Earnings to be reported on 10/21. Put/Call ratio changed from 0.65 to 0.37 between 09/30/11 to 10/13/11, a change of -43.08%. The stock is currently stuck in a downtrend, trading 7.81% below its SMA20, 13.51% below its SMA50, and 27.78% below its SMA200. It's been a rough couple of days for the stock, losing 6.71% over the last week.

*Options data sourced from Schaeffer’s, all other data sourced from Finviz.

Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.

Source: 14 Companies Reporting Earnings This Week With Bullish Options Sentiment