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 ChannelAdvisor (NYSE: ECOM ) gained 3% in pre-market trading Friday after Deutsche Bank upgraded the software-as-a-service technologist from hold to buy.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Karl Keirstead reiterated his price target of $32, representing about 38% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while momentum traders might be turned off by ChannelAdvisor's year-to-date price decline, Keirstead's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that the company's growth prospects are becoming too cheap to pass up.
Now what: According to Deutsche, ChannelAdvisor's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "We recently hosted a call with the CEO of Mercent, a primary direct rival to ECOM, and the overall tone was positive," said Keirstead. "Yesterday, ECOM itself disclosed same-store-sales figures for June, with growth through Amazon, eBay and Google all up sequentially. Bottom line, we feel more comfortable with the setup into 2H14 and the potential for the big sales investments to pay off." When you couple that upbeat outlook with ChannelAdvisor's beaten-down stock price -- still off about 50% from its 52-week high -- it's tough to disagree with Deutsche's bullishness.
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