It's time to hunker down, Fools. If you own shares of one (or more) of the three companies covered here, prepare for a week of volatility. 

While not an absolute certainty, wild moves are on the menu: all three of the companies are reporting earnings in the week ahead, and all three are heavily shorted -- meaning they have lots of investors betting against their short-term success. If you don't believe this can lead to volatility, just look at the three stocks from last week, which moved an average of 11% following their quarterly releases.

But I don't think anyone should try and make a quick buck on these moves. There's no telling whether shares of these three companies will go up or down. Instead, I think if you already own shares of Shake Shack (NYSE:SHAK)J.C. Penney (NYSE:JCP), or El Pollo Loco (NASDAQ:LOCO), then you should be prepared to separate the noise from what really matters. Check out the slideshow below to figure out how.(NASDAQ:LOCO)

Photo: Shake Shack, El Pollo Loco