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 Starbucks Corporation (NASDAQ:SBUX) gained 2% today after UBS upgraded the specialty coffee giant from neutral to buy.
So what: Along with the upgrade, analysts Keith Siegner and Dennis Geiger boosted their price target to $87 (from $80), representing about 16% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while momentum traders might be turned off by Starbucks' year-to-date price weakness, UBS' call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that its growth prospects -- particularly overseas -- are becoming too cheap to pass up.
Now what: UBS raised its 2014 EPS estimate for Starbucks from $2.67 to $3.16 and its 2015 view from $2.65 and $3.11. "[Starbucks'] unique multifaceted consumer products company model carries near best-in-class Americas comp performance, a meaningful and expanding international presence, burgeoning CPG opportunity, and optionality around several top line sales layers, including potentially yet to be announced initiatives," said UBS. "Combined with a strong management team which should continue to provide an innovative strategic direction and solid execution, and it's easy to envision high teens EPS growth over the long-term." When you couple that upbeat outlook with Starbucks' still-reasonable forward P/E in the mid-20s, it's tough to disagree with UBS' upgrade.
Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of Starbucks. 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.