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Cantor Fitzgerald maintained its “sell” rating on the retailer, and cut its sales and earnings forecasts for 2016 and 2017. The broker said investors may be rattled by the lack of UK profit progress as it is “mainly coming via closed stores’ cost savings and higher average selling prices”, and added that its “key concern” is improving competition and Mothercare’s lower footfall and conversion rates.
Cenkos kept its “buy” recommendation on the oil and gas firm, after it reported record full-year results. The broker noted the “resilience of these numbers in a challenging market”, adding: “Prevailing benchmark crude prices are having an inevitable impact on exploration and appraisal activity, however the focus on project economics and the cost saving imperative for operators underpins our investment case.”
ST. JAMES’S PLACE
Numis kept its “hold” rating on the wealth management business following an investor day which focused on partner recruitment. During the day, the company confirmed that it should achieve its five to seven per cent annual growth in headcount for the foreseeable future, the broker said, but it “added little in the way of material new information”.