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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 Archer Daniels Midland (NYSE: ADM ) climbed 2% this morning after Bank of America upgraded the agribusiness giant from underperform to buy.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Bryan Spillane boosted his price target to $44 (from $36), representing about 16% worth of upside to Friday's close. While value investors might be turned off by the stock's steady climb in 2013, Spillane believes there's still decent room to run given the strong economic and operational headwinds working in ADM's favor.
Now what: BofA sees several ways that ADM shareholders can win from the current levels.
"[W]e see upside to estimates over the next few quarters due to the large US corn crop and strong Oilseed results benefiting from good oilseed crops globally," noted BofA. "We also see the potential for further catalysts including the closing of the Graincorp acquisition which we believe could be $0.25 accretive on an annual basis, increased wheat exports from North America due to poor planting weather in the Black Sea region, favorable working capital and significant cash generation leading to increased share repurchases, as well as the potential sale of the Cocoa business."
Of course, with ADM shares climbing to a new 52-week high today and trading at a clear P/E premium to the industry, it's hard to believe that those prospects aren't already baked into the valuation.
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