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 Smith & Wesson (NASDAQ:SWHC) gained about 4% today after Wedbush upgraded the firearm products specialist from neutral to outperform.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Rommel Dionisio raised his price target to $20 (from $13), representing about 33% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Smith & Wesson's price strength in recent months, Dionisio's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that industry tailwinds give it plenty of room to run.

Now what: According to Wedbush, Smith & Wesson's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "Our recent spring checks of U.S. firearms dealers and distributors indicate recent new handgun launches by Smith & Wesson, particularly in small frame/concealed carry pistols and revolvers, continue to drive significant market share expansion, enabling S&W to sharply outperform the industry overall," said Dionisio. "With industry demand now normalizing, dealers indicate this environment is again separating the market share winners from the losers, and S&W is benefiting from recent new products such as the M&P Bodyguard 380." When you couple that upbeat outlook with Smith & Wesson's cheapish forward P/E of 10, it's tough to disagree with Wedbush's upgrade. 

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Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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