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 Lam Research (NASDAQ:LRCX) gained 1% this morning after Piper Jaffray assumed coverage on the chip equipment technologist with an overweight rating.
So what: Along with the bullish call, analyst Ruben Roy boosted his price target to $80 (from $62), representing about 15% worth of upside to yesterday's close. So while contrarian traders might be turned off by Lam's year-to-date price strength, Roy's call could reflect a sense on Wall Street that industry tailwinds give the stock plenty of room to run.
Now what: According to Piper, Lam's risk/reward trade-off is rather attractive at this point. "RCX's analyst day highlighted growing semi industry trends which will drive ongoing WFE growth and an estimated $2b addressable market expansion for LRCX," said Roy. "We believe that LRCX is positioning itself well to capitalize in industry inflections in mobility and IoT, allowing it to remain in a leading industry position which increasingly requires greater technological precision at advanced semiconductor nodes." With Lam shares now up more than 50% from their 52-week high and trading at a P/E of 25, however, much of that progress might already be baked into the valuation.
Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool recommends Apple. The Motley Fool owns shares of Apple. 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.