While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of Johnson & Johnson (NYSE: JNJ ) climbed nearly 2% today after Goldman Sachs upgraded the health-care giant from sell, to neutral.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Jami Rubin boosted his price target on the stock to $95 (from $87), representing about 8% worth of upside to yesterday's close. J&J shares have slumped in recent months on slowing growth at its largest unit, medical devices and diagnostics, but Rubin believes that continued strength from the pharmaceuticals side could help fuel a comeback over the next 12 months.
Now what: Goldman now expects J&J to post EPS of $1.32 in Q3, and $5.48 for 2013, up slightly from its prior view thanks to the company's steady stream of new drug launches. "No company depicts this transformation better than JNJ's pharma business, in our view," noted Goldman. "With 70% of current sales leveraged to specialty/biologics and with most of JNJ's pipeline assets following the same pattern, we expect product mix to continue moving closer to biotech." When you couple those prospects with the stock's forward P/E of 15 and 3%-plus dividend yield, J&J's risk/reward trade-off really does look appealing.
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