NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Shares of E. I. du Pont de Nemours and Co. (DD) are gaining, higher by 1.98% to $70.70 in late morning trading Thursday after analysts at Bank of America/Merrill Lynch upgraded shares of the chemical conglomerate to "neutral" from "underperform" this morning.
Analysts at the firm cited valuation based on a $76 price target.
Bank of America/Merrill Lynch added that estimates were also increased, as the company cuts more costs.
"We expect DuPont to emerge from its recent proxy battle with activist investor Trian as a leaner, stronger company, irrespective of the outcome of yesterday's shareholder vote in favor of DuPont management," analysts added.
In mid-March, the firm downgraded shares to "underweight" from "buy" saying DuPont faces fundamental headwinds in both agriculture and chemicals, along with financial challenges.
Wilmington, Del.-based DuPont is a chemical company with multiple segments including agriculture, electronics and communications, industrial biosciences, nutrition and health, performance chemicals, performance coatings, performance materials, safety and protection, and pharmaceuticals.
The company uses numerous suppliers as well as internal sources to supply a wide range of raw materials, energy, supplies, services and equipment.
Insight from TheStreet's Research Team:
Jim Cramer commented on DuPont in a recent post on RealMoney.com. Here is what Cramer had to say about the stock:
Now let's talk about the flipside. DuPont (DD) shares are plummeting today precisely because Trian, a hard-charging activist fund led by Nelson Peltz, failed in a fight to get representation on the board of the chemical giant.
While Peltz pledges long-term commitment to DuPont, short-term investors voted with their feet, fleeing the stock for fear that nothing now will change at the company and that Peltz might dump his stock.
I have no idea what Nelson will do. The stock had spiked to $80 when Peltz seemed to have the company on the run. But with his defeat by CEO Ellen Kullman and her board, the stock's fallen to under $70.
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Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates DU PONT (E I) DE NEMOURS as a Buy with a ratings score of A-. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:
"We rate DU PONT (E I) DE NEMOURS (DD) a BUY. This is based on the convergence of positive investment measures, which should help this stock outperform the majority of stocks that we rate. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures, reasonable valuation levels, good cash flow from operations, notable return on equity and increase in stock price during the past year. We feel its strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had sub par growth in net income."
You can view the full analysis from the report here: DD Ratings Report