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 J.B. Hunt Transport Services (NASDAQ:JBHT) closed up 2.6% on Friday after Bank of America upgraded the transportation services company from neutral to buy.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Ken Hoexter reiterated his price target of $81, representing about 9% worth of upside to where the stock sits now. J.B. Hunt shares have been sluggish in recent months on concerns over rising costs, but Hoexter believes it provides investors with a decent entry point given the company's long-term growth prospects.
Now what: B of A expects J.B. Hunt to earn $3.60 per share in 2014. "In our view JBHT is a solid secular growth story given its core Intermodal business improvement," said B of A. "While we recognize near-term weakness heading into earnings, primarily driven by higher costs in its non-core segments Dedicated and Truck, we believe this to be a temporary overhang on the stock." Given J.B. Hunt's still-hefty debt load and seemingly lofty forward P/E of 27, however, I'd expect the stock to remain under pressure for much longer than B of A believes.
Fool contributor 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.