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 Williams-Sonoma (NYSE:WSM) gained about 1% today after Piper Jaffray upgraded the home products retailer from neutral to overweight.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Neely J.N. Tamminga raised his price target to $85 (from $71), representing about 26% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Williams-Sonoma's price strength in recent months, Tamminga's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that its growth prospects still aren't fully baked into the valuation.
Now what: According to Piper, Williams-Sonoma's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "We are upgrading our rating on WSM shares from Neutral to Overweight in view of the company's superior tech-savvy initiatives aimed at driving DTC revenues (already $2B in revenues and 48% of total) higher while delivering best-in-class personalized customer service supported by a catalog heritage in an agile culture grounded in a tech-rich talent pool headquartered in San Francisco," said Tamminga. "This unique positioning is coupled with a favorable backdrop of a multi-year positive cycle on the 'home' category." When you couple those strong headwinds with Williams-Sonoma's rock-solid financial position, it's tough to disagree with Piper's upgrade.
Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Williams-Sonoma. 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.