Best of the Brokers for 10 January 2014

Barclays has cut William Hill from overweight to equalweight with a lower target of 420p. The broker thinks gambling firms will be hit by calls to crack down on gaming machines, but notes that William Hill makes 26 per cent of its earnings this way, compared to 43 per cent at Ladbrokes.

HSBC upgraded the oil and gas company from neutral to overweight after a slide in the share price, but the target from 1,381p to 1,094p. The broker thinks the stock still has potential for 2014, due in part to M&A potential, as well as the chance of successful drilling this year.

UBS has cut the building materials supplier from buy to neutral and kept its target at 3,470p as part of a review of the industry. The broker is broadly positive about the sector’s short-term prospects but is concerned at depressed earnings compared to before the recession.