While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a closer look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of DENTSPLY International (NASDAQ: XRAY ) climbed 3% today after Bank of America upgraded the dental products company from "underperform" to "buy."
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Erin Wilson boosted her price target on the stock to $48 (from $35), representing about 11% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While DENTSPLY's steady climb in 2013 might give value investors some concern, Wilson believes that improving economic conditions should serve as a strong tailwind for even more price appreciation.
Now what: While Bank of America is maintaining its earnings-per-share forecast for 2013 and 2014, it has much more conviction in DENTSPLY's long-term growth prospects.
"While weak global macroeconomic conditions and lackluster utilization trends have kept dental sentiment low, improving employment and consumer spending patterns as well as recent data points from industry constituents suggest a sustained turnaround in underlying dental demand," noted Bank of America.
Of course, with the stock hitting yet another 52-week high today and trading at a forward P/E of nearly 20, much of that industry comeback might already be baked into DENTSPLY's valuation.
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