Why Urban Outfitters, Inc. Shares Sank

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 Urban Outfitters, Inc.  (NASDAQ: URBN  ) fell 4% today after FBR Capital downgraded the apparel retailer from outperform to market perform.

So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Susan Anderson lowered her price target to $37 (from $44), representing just 1% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarians might be attracted to Urban's price weakness over the past year, Anderson's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that its ongoing top-line troubles will leave the stock range-bound. 

Now what: According to FBR, Urban's risk/reward trade-off is pretty balanced at this point. "While we regard URBN as an omni-channel leader with a strong management team, we believe the stock will trade sideways in 2014 driven by continued UO weakness and the potential for Anthro/FP to slow with tougher compares in 2H14," said Anderson. "We do not see a near-term catalyst for a UO turnaround and believe that the segment will continue to be pressured by the shifting teen/young adult landscape (increased competition from e-commerce, fast fashion, international entrants, spending shifts)." With Urban shares flirting with their 52-week lows and sporting a reasonable forward P/E of 15, however, those short-term concerns might be providing patient Fools with a solid long-term opportunity.

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