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Will United Technologies Corporation Fly to $140?

By Brian Pacampara – Mar 21, 2014 at 11:02AM

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Does this analyst make a good case? Or is it just more noise from Wall Street?

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 United Technologies Corporation (RTX -0.04%) climbed 1.5% in premarket trading Friday after Goldman Sachs upgraded the aerospace and defense giant from neutral to buy.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Noah Poponak boosted his price target to $138 (from $123), representing about 20% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarians might be turned off by the stock's strength over the past year, Poponak's call suggests that the sector tailwinds working in United Tech's favor aren't slowing anytime soon.

Now what: Goldman raised its 2014 EPS view for United Tech from $6.82 to $6.89, its 2015 estimate from $7.55 to $7.84, and its 2016 view from $8.08 to $8.64. "The company is well positioned in a strengthening Commercial Aerospace aftermarket, it is a market leader in its non-residential construction market, and its largest profit generators in the European construction markets appear to be bottoming," said Poponak. "Pension and FX are moving to tailwinds, there is upside to consensus estimates, and valuation is attractive." Of course, with the stock now up about 30% from its 52-week lows and sporting an industry-matching P/E of 19, I'd wait for a wider margin of safety before buying into that bullishness.  

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Goldman Sachs. 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.

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