There is no doubt that my favorite set up is a stock that has been trading in a range for a long time, have written numerous blog posts about this type of set up. In my experience they tend to lead to big moves once they come out of the range.
Carbo Ceramics ($CRR) is an oil and gas equipment company that has been trading in a range for 6 months between roughly $31.50-$43.00. I’m always intrigued by bases because a prolong period of contraction normally leads to a prolonged period of expansion, and the longer the base the better it is. What happens in the base is that the buyers and sellers find equilibrium, the sellers for the most part are done selling and or the buyers are taking in all the supply. These new stockholders obviously believe that greener pastures await the stock. More importantly, what you see right before the stock exits its base to the upside is a series of higher lows and or the stock will trade and stay at the upper end of its range, which is exactly what CRR has done.
On 4/30/15 Carbo Ceramics reported their earnings, regardless of what they look like on the surface the stock reaction tells you that it caught the street by surprise, CRR closed up 19% that day. Since then the stock has done nothing but move sideways for 11 days in a very tight range. The high on 4/30/15 (eps date) is $44.85, a move above that level will probably lead to a prolonged move higher for the shares, with 41% of the float short expect volatility to be on the high end.