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 analyst upgrades and downgrades -- just in case their reasoning behind the call makes sense.
What: Shares of Chevron (NYSE:CVX) gained slightly this morning after Deutsche Bank initiated coverage on the oil and gas giant with a buy rating.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Ryan Todd planted a price target of $142 on the stock, representing about 14% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Chevron's strong rebound in recent months, Todd's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that the company's improvement prospects still aren't fully baked into the valuation.
Now what: According to Deutsche, Chevron's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "In some ways, Chevron is the standard bearer for Super Major dynamics in recent years: rapid spending growth driven by huge, capex-heavy projects, shrinking free cash flow, and disappointing growth," said Todd. "However, its strength remains its steady plan and clear identity: organically driven, deep, oil-levered, high-margin project queue, now complimented by possibly the highest quality US onshore position in the industry. The turn in capex/cash flow may still be 12 months out, but the coming inflection will drive leading growth (20% by 2017) and free cash flow (~6% in 2017) in the coming years." When you couple that upbeat outlook with Chevron's juicy dividend yield of 3.5% and cheapish forward P/E of 10, it's tough to disagree with Deutsche's bullishness.
Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Chevron. 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.