Best of the Brokers for 31 July 2014

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Numis has downgraded to “hold” from “Add”, and cut the target price to 710p from 785p. The broker believes good growth in high quality specialist lines validated the company’s strategy continually to build out this side of the business, but cut to hold as it thinks shares are at fair value.

Panmure Gordon has kept its “hold” rating but cut the target price to 346p from 379p. The broker reduced it forecasts, with a primary concern being the weakness of the balance sheet, reflecting growing capital expenditure demands, poor cash conversion and rising pension deficit.

Investec has kept its “buy” rating, but cut the target price to 2,580 from 2,720p. The broker cut its estimates after Spectris saw unexpectedly soft trading recently, but noted it is still recruiting to support anticipated growth, with its strategy of continued investment serving it well in the past.