Best of the Brokers for 02 April 2014

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TESCO
Espirito Santo sticks to its “sell” rating for the retailer ahead of full-year results on 16 April, and cuts its fair value from 315p to 265p. The broker thinks that while Tesco’s operational problems are fixable, it reckons the firm could fail to grow for up to three years.

PARTNERSHIP ASSURANCE
Canaccord Genuity has lifted its target on the specialist insurer from 130p to 145p and kept its “hold” rating. The firm’s boss Steve Groves told Canaccord that reforms are set to shrink the annuities market by a third to half. However, the broker is cheered by Groves’ optimistic outlook.

BT
Berenberg plays down the risks of Scottish independence for BT, which has 1.2m residential customers and 7,500 staff north of the border, saying that the country would likely comply with EU rules on broadband and telecoms. The broker keeps its “buy” rating and 460p target.