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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>MARSTON&rsquo;S</strong><br />UBS estimates that Marston&rsquo;s rights issue to raise &pound;165m will result in around an 18 per cent earnings per share dilution in 2010, falling to 12 per cent by 2013. But the broker said that 40 per cent fall in the share price this month, including 20 per cent since the announcement of the rights issue, is overdone and moves the stock to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; from &ldquo;neutral&rdquo;. UBS moved the price target (cum-rights) to 139p, which represents an ex-rights target of 97p.<br /><br /><strong>VODAFONE</strong><br />JP Morgan said that S&amp;P&rsquo;s revision of Vodafone&rsquo;s credit rating outlook to negative from stable draws attention to upcoming spectrum auctions by the Indian government, and that particularly large spectrum purchases could impair Vodafone&rsquo;s credit metrics. However, JPM said that the practical consequences of an actual rating downgrade would be limited and retains its &ldquo;overweight&rdquo; recommendation of the stock.<br /><br /><strong>REED ELSEVIER</strong><br />Something seems amiss at Reed Elsevier, said Citigroup, noting that the stock has underperformed the market by about eight per cent year-to-date and by over 30 per cent since March. The broker thinks that concerns over the impact of new managment explains some of this. Citi said to &ldquo;stick with hold but watch this space&rdquo;, saying that its believes the group should sell its Exhibitions division as well as its Business Information operations.