Best of the Brokers for 4 December 2015

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Nomura has reaffirmed its “buy” investment rating on telecoms giant Sky and raised its price target to 1,400p, from 1,300p. Analysts said the structure of media in Europe is different from that in the US in vital ways, and that Sky can continue to do well as a result. Highlighted was Sky’s superior revenue growth versus the sector, of around six per cent, as well as the introduction of SkyQ, which could be worth 100p a share.

Analysts at Goldman Sachs have moved their rating on high street fashion retailer Next up to a “buy” recommendation. They credit Next as a rare example of a retailer that has managed to maintain top-line sales growth, despite space growth fading to around 30 per cent of sales growth from around 100 per cent in 2011. In addition, online sales penetration could double again as Goldman Sachs expects current trends to persist. Goldman has now raised its price target to 8,700p, from 7,950p.

Exane BNP Paribas has downgraded its investment rating on equipment rental company Ashtead Group to “neutral”, from “outperform”, and set its price target at 1,100p, from 1,064 currently. From a total of 15 analysts covering Ashtead stock, 13 rate it a “buy”. The recent low construction numbers have weighed on the industry and analysts note the gloomy sentiment in the UK equipment rental sector is beginning to bear on Ashtead’s UK rental revenue business.