BofA Reserves a 'Buy' Rating on OpenTable

Shares of OpenTable (NASDAQ:OPEN) avoided the economic gloom hurting Wall Street on Wednesday as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upgraded the stock to “buy.”

According to Reuters, BofA-Merrill upped the restaurant reservation site from “neutral” to “buy” on its strong core business traction and new initiatives expected to expand the company’s business opportunities.

BofA also lifted its price target on OpenTable from $50 to $63 and said the new initiatives are likely to lead to meaningful gains in revenue and earnings in 2011 and 2012.

OpenTable’s stock responded well to the upgrade, gaining 3.87% to $51 Wednesday morning despite a 0.67% decline in the S&P 500 amid worries about the economy. The company’s shares have gained more than 5% over the past month and surged 92% so far in 2010.

The BofA call on OpenTable stands in contrast to Stifel Nicolaus’s downgrade of the company from “buy” to “hold” on Tuesday.