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 Gap gained 2.5% this morning after UBS upgraded the apparel retailer from neutral to buy.

So what: Along with the upgrade, analyst Roxanne Meyer boosted her price target to $50 (from $41), representing about 34% worth of upside to yesterday's close. While momentum traders might be turned off by the stock's steady decline over the past six months, Meyer thinks that Gap is now too juicy to pass up given management's strong turnaround progress of late.


Now what: According to UBS, Gap's risk/reward trade-off is particularly attractive at this point. "We look for GPS to deliver 15%+ EPS growth over the next 3 years and potentially over $5 of EPS in FY17 due to increased square footage growth and an ability to deliver positive comps from industry-leading e-commerce initiatives, outsized exposure to athletic apparel, and inflection at the core businesses," noted Meyer. "All these opportunities lead to one of the highest incremental margin stories in the industry." When you couple that growth and margin enhancement potential with Gap's cheapish forward P/E of 13, it's tough to disagree with UBS' upgrade. 

More compelling retail picks
To learn about two retailers with especially good prospects, take a look at The Motley Fool's special free report: "The Death of Wal-Mart: The Real Cash Kings Changing the Face of Retail." In it, you'll see how these two cash kings are able to consistently outperform and how they're planning to ride the waves of retail's changing tide. You can access it by clicking here.

The article Why Gap Inc. Shares Rallied This Morning originally appeared on Fool.com.

Brian Pacampara has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. 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.

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