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 Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) gained 2.5% in pre-market trading Tuesday after Susquehanna upgraded the online travel company from neutral to positive.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Brian Nowak boosted his price target to $90 (from $79), representing about 21% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Expedia's year-to-date price sluggishness, Nowak's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that the concerns surrounding the company's growth trajectory are becoming overblown.
Now what: Susquehanna maintained its Street-high 2014 earnings-per-share estimate for Expedia and raised its 2015 outlook by 5%. "Our updated breakdown of EXPE's 3 main businesses (Travelocity, Trivago, and "core") shows how Street EPS numbers are 3% and 4% too low in '14 and '15 even using conservative assumptions," said Nowak. "In a sector where we expect upward revisions to drive out-performance, we turn to EXPE and raise our PT to $90." When you couple that upbeat outlook with Expedia's reasonable forward P/E in the midteens, it's tough to disagree with Susquehanna's bullishness.
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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.