While Fools should generally take the opinion of Wall Street with a grain of salt, it's not a bad idea to take a look at particularly stock-shaking analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of U.S. Bancorp (NYSE:USB) slipped yesterday after Deutsche Bank downgraded the banking giant from buy, to hold.
So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Matt O'Connor lowered his price target to $38 (from $41), pretty much exactly where the stock closed yesterday. While value investors might be attracted to the stock's recent slide -- triggered by disappointing Q3 results -- O'Connor believes that upside is limited, given the near-term headwinds working against the company.
Now what: Deutsche lowered both its 2014 and 2015 profit estimates for U.S. Bancorp below the consensus view. "3Q was disappointing in our view as we est. there was $100m+ of MSR gains that weren't disclosed," noted Deutsche. "Underlying trends were weaker than expected and the outlook seems a bit more sluggish than we had previously assumed." When you couple that sluggishness with the stock's price-to-book ratio of two -- a clear premium to close peers -- I'd agree that U.S. Bancorp's risk/reward trade-off isn't all that compelling.
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.