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 upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of Owens Corning (NYSE:OC) slipped 2% today after Bank of America downgraded the building materials company from buy to neutral.
So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst George Staphos lowered his price target to $40 (from $43), representing about 6% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While contrarian investors might be attracted to Owens' steady slide in 2013, Staphos believes the appreciation potential remains limited given the somewhat optimistic profit estimates still built into the valuation.
Now what: B of A believes Owens' risks and rewards are pretty balanced at this point. "[Our] estimates are reduced once again which causes us to lower our normalized free cash flow (FCF) estimate (to $500mn from $600mn) and our targeted midcycle multiples by 1x," said the bank. "Ultimately, we believe OC should have leverage to a recovering housing sector." Of course, when you couple the beaten-down share price with its heavy debt load, Owens might have far more housing-fueled upside than B of A gives it credit for.
Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns shares of Bank of America. The Motley Fool recommends Bank of America. The Motley Fool owns shares of Bank of America. 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.