IVOR JONES NUMIS
William Hill enjoyed a strong fourth quarter but the shares have performed very well and we doubt that there will be forecast changes following the trading statement. We believe the share price will retrace its recent steps and we reiterate our “Reduce” recommendation and 310p target.
NICK BATRAM PEEL HUNT
The acquisition of Sportingbet and potential buy-out of the Playtech minority are transformational deals, but William Hill is likely to pay a full price for both. In order to fund the latter, it is also likely to tap investors. This has held us back. We retain our “Hold” recommendation.
SIMON FRENCH PANMURE GORDON
The group’s stated profit of £330m is 6.5 per cent ahead of expectations, but the key challenge for the market is how to value a company whose earnings profile and quality is improving rapidly. We reiterate our “Buy” recommendation and 400p target price.