Best of the Brokers for 13 May 2013

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Panmure Gordon has a “buy” rating on the pub chain and a target price of 123p ahead of first-half results tomorrow. The broker expects a lacklustre set of figures, with good progress on the firm’s self-help measures wiped out by the effects of the cold and wet start to the year. Panmure hopes to see some signs of improvement in April and May trading.

UBS has started covering the online retailer with a “buy” rating and a target price of 4,500p, declaring it a long-term core holding in the sector. The broker applauds Asos for striking a balance between disruptive pricing and long-term investment in the business, and reckons the firm could beat its growth forecasts with launches in Russia and China.

Shore Capital has cut the lender from “hold” to “sell” with a valuation of 1,440p, up from 1,390p. While the broker thinks Provident is a good company, the shares are likely to drift back, particularly as it approaches its ex-dividend date of 22 May. The firm’s consumer credit group fell behind Shore’s expectations in the first quarter of the year.