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 Philip Morris International (NYSE:PM) slipped more than 2% this morning after Goldman Sachs downgraded the cigarette giant from "conviction buy" to "neutral."
So what: Along with the two-notch downgrade, analyst Judy Hong lowered her price target to $95 (from $103), representing about 6% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While value investors might be attracted to the stock's sluggishness in 2013, Hong believes that Philip Morris' near-term prospects remain limited given the headwinds working against it.
Now what: Goldman lowered its 2014-2016 EPS estimates for Philip Morris by an average of 5%. "Weaker end market demand and higher investment needs drive our rating downgrade, and we have lowered our 12- month P/E-based price target to $95 from $103 as we incorporate the lower estimates and a lower multiple (16.0X from 16.5X), the latter of which is driven by a murkier near-term outlook," Goldman noted. With the stock nearly 10% from its 52-week highs and boasting a 4%-plus dividend yield, however, that short-term concern might be providing patient Fools with a juicy long-term income opportunity.
Fool contributor Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool owns shares of Philip Morris International. 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.