What happened

Shares of the medical device giant Medtronic (MDT -1.90%) were up by 4.4% on heavy volume as of 3:10 p.m. ET Monday afternoon. The high-single-digit gain was sparked by an analyst upgrade from Wells Fargo

Specifically, Wells Fargo analyst Larry Biegelsen raised the bank's price target on the stock to $100 from its prior target of $77 per share. This new price target represents a 17% upside potential relative to Medtronic's closing price last Friday.

So what

What's behind this analyst upgrade? Biegelsen noted the recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval of Medtronic's most advanced hybrid closed-loop insulin delivery system, the MiniMed 780G, along with a generally improving medtech market, as key reasons investors should be optimistic about the medtech company's near-term outlook.  

Prior to today's rally, Medtronic's shares were down by a hefty 17.1% over the past 16 months. To put this downward move into the proper context, the benchmark S&P 500 shed approximately 13% of its value over this same period.

Investors soured on the top-shelf dividend stock in 2022 due to a broad-based slowdown in medtech stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the high level of competition in the insulin delivery space. The insulin delivery market represents one of Medtronic's most promising near-term growth opportunities. 

Now what

Is Medtronic's stock worth buying on this rally? Medtronic is arguably a strong buy for patient investors under most circumstances. Speaking to this point, the company sports one of the most reliable dividends in the large-cap space, its growth prospects ought to improve with COVID-19 fading into the background, and the MiniMed 780G should significantly boost the medtech behemoth's top line in the years ahead.