Best of the Brokers for 15 April 2013

PERSIMMON

Persimmon

Peel Hunt has a “buy” rating and 1,197p target price on the housebuilder ahead of an interim management statement and shareholder meeting on Thursday. The broker is cautious about the long-term benefits of the government’s Help to Buy scheme, but believes the subsequent price inflation will help Persimmon return more cash to shareholders.

BARCLAYS

Barclays PLC

Berenberg Bank has a “sell” rating on the bank, with a target price of 160p ahead of quarterly results on 24 April. The broker thinks investment banking revenues across the industry fell one per cent in the first quarter of the year, which will hit Barclays, though Berenberg sees cost-cutting measures as more important this year. The broker is also concerned about leverage ratios in the sector.

DEBENHAMS

Debenhams PLC

Panmure Gordon recommends investors “hold” shares in the retailer, and has a target price of 88p, down from 90p. The broker has cut its forecasts for the firm’s full year results, due on Thursday, after signs of heavy discounting on the high street seen in M&S’s results last week. Panmure predicts pre-tax profits of £153.5m as an expected three per cent rise in like-for-like sales is offset by falling margins.