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 J.M. Smucker (NYSE: SJM) slipped 1% this morning after Wells Fargo downgraded the food company from market perform to underperform.
So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst John Baumgartner lowered his price target to $92-$94 (from $102-$104), representing about 11% worth of downside to yesterday's close. While contrarians might be attracted to Smucker's recent share-price weakness, Baumgartner believes there's room to fall given slowing single-serve coffee growth and a weak overall consumer environment.
Now what: According to Wells, Smucker's risk/reward tradeoff is particularly unappetizing at the moment. "We maintain that SJM is among those most at risk within a challenging consumer environment and note that: 1) coffee growth is slowing sharply within single-serve and 2) cost deflation benefits are poised to moderate while recent benefits are weakened by lower prices at retail," noted Wells. When you couple those headwinds with Smucker's seemingly steep forward P/E of 17, it's tough to disagree with the downgrade.
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