What happened

Shares of freelancing services platform Upwork (NASDAQ:UPWK) popped after receiving an upgrade to buy from Citigroup this morning. Upwork stock is trading up 9.7% as of 11:15 a.m. EST.

So what

In addition to the upgrade, Citigroup ratcheted its price target on Upwork shares 50% higher -- to $48 a share, reports StreetInsider.com. Freelance work is transitioning online, explains the analyst, and while it's hard for Citi to say precisely how large this market will get, Citi notes that Upwork has already delivered "two consecutive quarters of better than expected results," and the analyst predicts even "better growth in 2021 and beyond" as the company shifts its focus to marketing freelance work to larger enterprise clients.

Citi seems especially intrigued by Upwork's idea of creating a "project catalog" that will help its buyers fill their advertised gigs faster.

Arrow angles up on a green stock chart

Image source: Getty Images.

Now what

Despite the upgrade and the higher price target, it's worth pointing out that most analysts who follow Upwork stock still believe the company will report a loss for the fourth quarter of 2020, and for the full year, and for next year as well.  

Upwork has not set a date for releasing its fourth-quarter numbers, but Q4 results came out in late February last year. Chances are that Q4 2020 results will arrive in late February this year as well.  

This article represents the opinion of the writer, who may disagree with the “official” recommendation position of a Motley Fool premium advisory service. We’re motley! Questioning an investing thesis -- even one of our own -- helps us all think critically about investing and make decisions that help us become smarter, happier, and richer.