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 Chinese online media company Sohu.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:SOHU) fell 2% today after its weak Q1 guidance prompted a downgrade -- equal-weight to underweight -- from Morgan Stanley.
So what: Along with the downgrade, analyst Philip Wan lowered his price target to $57.60 (from $60.70), representing about 19% worth of downside to yesterday's close. While contrarians might be attracted to Sohu's share-price weakness in recent months, Wan thinks there's more room to fall given the margin-pressuring headwinds continuing to work against it.
Now what: According to Morgan, Sohu's risk/reward trade-off isn't too appealing at this point. "Despite solid performance from brand ads and Sogou, heavier investments in Changyou (online gaming) result in a softer 2014 margin outlook," noted Wan. "Competition remains intense for its online video and search businesses. Move to UW due to low visibility on near-term margin with a new PT of US$57.6 per share." With Sohu now off more than 20% from its 52-week highs, however, patient growth investors might want to use that short-term uncertainty to build a long-term position.