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 Intel Corporation (NASDAQ:INTC) gained nearly 2% on Monday after Pacific Crest Securities upgraded the chip giant from sector perform to outperform.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Michael McConnell planted a price target of $31 on the stock, representing about 19% worth of upside to Friday's close. So while contrarians might be turned off by Intel's rally over the past month, McConnell's call could reflect a strengthening sense on Wall Street that its growth prospects still aren't fully baked into the price.
Now what: According to Pacific Crest, Intel's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. Specifically, the firm thinks that Intel's new server platform is poised to "reaccelerate spending at traditional IT customers and serve as a likely driver for Intel's high-margin DCG business next year." More importantly, with Intel continuing to boast a rock-solid financial position and 3.5% dividend yield, the downside might be limited enough to buy into that bullishness.