Could These Top Stocks Trade Up Big Again After Reporting Earnings?

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With the earnings season rolling on for the second quarter, about 150 S&P 500 companies will report this week. We have seen more and more of the top stocks report solid numbers for the quarter. Many have traded up smartly after the numbers were released and/or they presented positive guidance for the next quarter or the rest of the year.

A new research note from the analysts at Cowen highlights some top stocks that have not yet reported second-quarter earnings, but all of which traded higher after they reported their first-quarter numbers this year. With first quarter often being the slowest for Wall Street stocks, it makes sense that some of these companies could follow through with good second-quarter releases and trade higher again.

We picked the five stocks in the Cowen report that traded the highest after reporting first-quarter earnings.

Level 3 Communications Inc. (NYSE: LVLT) traded up a whopping 16% after it reported first-quarter earnings, and the company is set to report on July 29. It provides core network services, including transport services comprising wavelengths, private lines, transoceanic services and dark fiber, as well as related professional services; and colocation and data center services, such as cloud, hosting and application management solutions.

The company is almost always rumored as a takeover candidate as it provides all the solutions a huge communications provider may want to have and own. The Thomson/First Call consensus price target for the stock is $45.22. Level 3 Communications closed Monday at $45.44 a share.

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Sprint Corp. (NYSE: S) was up a very strong 11.3% after it reported first-quarter earnings. Almost every time the talk turns to Sprint, it turns to the potential purchase or merger with T-Mobile. Many on Wall Street plain and simple do not think the deal would ever be approved by regulators. Others feel there is a chance, as a third dominant player could potentially help drive prices down for consumers.

For now, the deal is still on hold awaiting further announcements. The consensus price target for the stock is $7.28. Shares closed trading Monday at $7.67. Sprint announces second-quarter earnings on July 30.