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 upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of Take-Two Interactive Software (NASDAQ:TTWO) gained about 2% in pre-market trading Thursday after Benchmark upgraded the video game publisher from hold to buy.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Mike Hickey planted a price target of $25.31 on the stock, representing about 15% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Take-Two's price strength over the past year, Hickey's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that the company's upcoming game releases give the stock plenty of room to run.
Now what: According to Benchmark, Take-Two is a particularly timely opportunity. "We view the Company's near term share price risk / reward profile balancing positive (raised from neutral); with potential near term performance upside from a compelling game slate that has now materialized over seemingly conservative guidance, offset somewhat by potential operating expense growth, execution risk and market risk related to the ongoing console transition (prior-gen weakness)," said Hickey. When you couple that upbeat outlook with Take-Two's still-reasonable forward P/E of 15, it's tough to disagree with Benchmark's bullishness.
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Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple and Take-Two Interactive. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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.