ANALYST VIEWS: WHAT DOES THE FUTURE HOLD FOR STAGECOACH?

KEITH BOWMAN | HARGREAVES LANSDOWN

Despite some near term concern regarding possible government spending cuts, a favourable combination of economic recovery, possible M&A activity and wider environmental trends all support a favourable [buy] market consensus opinion. The company’s marketing campaigns have also been successful.

PAUL HICKMAN | KCB PEEL HUNT

Stagecoach’s uniformly strong first-quarter results reinforce our mid-teens earnings forecast, making it one of the first players to realise a significant bounceback from recession. It is probably too early in the year for upgrades, particularly in view of fuel duty risk, but this is a very promising start.

KARL BURNS | SHORE CAPITAL

Stagecoach, driven by North America and Rail, is currently running ahead of our estimate [our current 2011 earnings estimate of 20p is at the low end of consensus forecasts]. Therefore, the group retains upgrade momentum moving forward.