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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>WPP GROUP</strong><br />Citigroup has downgraded WPP to &ldquo;sell&rdquo; saying that a continuation on second quarter trends would suggest a 2009 full-year organic decline of 7.5 per cent and limited growth in 2010. The broker sees risk to the earnings and thinks that the first half results in August will be a negative catalyst, and lowers its a target price to 340p.<br /><br /><strong>DIAGEO</strong><br />Diageo&rsquo;s announcement of a series of restructuring initiatives across its operations &ndash; which are to drive annual cost savings of &pound;40m by 2012 &ndash; led Goldman Sachs to update its estimates and rate the stock a &ldquo;buy&rdquo;. The broker also notes sterling&rsquo;s strength against the dollar, which offsets the positive impact of the cost savings.<br /><br /><strong>PEARSON</strong><br />Execution Securities believes that Pearson is the most defensive stock in the European media sector and has it as a &ldquo;top pick&rdquo;. It expects earning upgrades during the rest of the year, and also said the company may lift full year guidance later this month at its first half results. The broker has a &ldquo;buy&rdquo; rating and a 750p target price.