Best of the Brokers for 27 November 2015

MARSTON
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MARSTON’S
The latest financial results for the big British brewer and pub operator showed profit before tax had risen ten per cent to £91.5m, above the expectations of analysts at Numis. However, the analysts maintained their “add” recommendation and their 180p target price. Numis forecasts 23 new builds next year compared with 25 this year and is also anticipating 1.5 per cent growth in like-for-like sales at Marstons’ two main pub categories.

SAGE GROUP
Analysts at Panmure Gordon believe the accountancy software company’s results will be in line with expectations. The focus within the results will be on key performance indicators that prove whether chief executive Stephen Kelly is starting to make progress in transforming Sage. They maintained their “hold” recommendation, but bumped up their target price to 535p from 516p.

STANDARD CHARTERED
S&P Capital IQ slashed its target price for the UK banking multinational from 650p to 530p. The lowering of the target price reflects the adjustment for a rights issue exercise and recent weakness in the company’s share price. Standard Chartered’s share price has fallen by more than 10 per cent since the beginning of the month and there is some further downside risk to its share price given uncertainty over its restructuring initiatives.