July 16, 2012 at 08:55 AM EDT
Morgan Stanley Upgrades 3M, Downgrades General Electric (MMM, GE)

Analysts at Morgan Stanley on Monday offered some diverging opinions on multinational manufacturers General Electric Company (GE) and 3M Co. (MMM).

The firm said it downgraded GE from “Overweight” to “Equal-weight.” Morgan Stanley noted the move was a valuation call, based on its $22 price target. That target suggests an 11% upside to the stock’s Friday closing price of $19.77.

Meanwhile, the analyst upgraded MMM to “Overweight” with a $102 price target, implying a 16% upside to the stock’s Friday closing price of $87.59. Morgan Stanley noted the company is leveraged to benefit from an eventual recovery in the electronics sector, as well as in emerging markets.

GE shares posted small losses in premarket trading Monday, while 3M shares were mostly flat.

The Bottom Line
We have been recommending shares of General Electric (GE) since Dec.9, 2011, when the stock was trading at $16.80. The company has a 3.44% dividend yield, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $19.77. Shares of 3M (MMM) have a 2.69% dividend yield, based on Friday’s closing stock price of $87.59. The stock has technical support in the $80-$82 price area. The stock is trading near the all-time high range of $90-$95 a share.

General Electric Company (GE) is a “Recommended” dividend stock, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.5 out of 5 stars. 3M Co. (MMM) is not recommended at this time, holding a Dividend.com DARS™ Rating of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Be sure to visit our complete recommended list of the Best Dividend Stocks, as well as a detailed explanation of our ratings system here.

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