Best of the Brokers for 24 March 2015

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Numis reiterated its “hold” rating on the asset management group following its pre-close update. The broker said it had made some “very modest forecast changes” as a result of the update, with predicted earnings per share revised downwards, from 36.4p to 35.6p.

Berenberg downgraded the outsourcer’s rating from “hold” to “sell”, citing “the prospect of a long turnaround coupled with a chronic lack of free cash flow generation”. The broker said a renewal plan and new management “will not be enough to reverse Serco’s negative share price”.

S&P Capital IQ has raised its rating on the insurer from “hold” to “buy”. The firm has returned £1.75bn in cash to shareholders following the sale of its Canadian business. The broker said the company is “well positioned for changes in the UK savings and retirement market”.