Best of the Brokers for 18 April 2013

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Canaccord Genuity has raised its rating on asset manager from “hold” to “buy” and has a target price of 120p. The broker thinks Man has turned a corner, helped by lower market volatility bottoming out a slide in its flagship AHL fund, and sees efforts to manage the balance sheet as positive for future dividends and acquisitions.

Numis has a “buy” rating and a target of 1,270p ahead of first quarter results due tomorrow. The broker expects two per cent organic growth, or seven per cent to £2.558bn including acquisitions, and expects three per cent expansion for the full year. Numis is also impressed by WPP’s “fortress balance sheet”, which gives the firm firepower to hike its dividend payout ratio to as much as 50 per cent.

Cantor Fitzgerald has a “buy” rating on the furnishings group and has raised its target from 100p to 120p following good results on Tuesday. The broker thinks Walker is now ready to leverage two years of investment in new equipment to further boost its sales. The stock remains undervalued at 8.6 times 2014 forecasted earnings, Cantor analysts add.