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BEST OF THE BROKERS

LLOYDS
Execution Noble says the government will sell down Lloyds shares ahead of the election due to strong results and a good level of income growth. Costs are well controlled and lower than the equivalent period in 2009. They continue to expect Lloyds to report net profit of at least £529m for 2010, against a consensus loss of £973m.

NOKIA
Standard and Poor’s, the credit ratings agency, has maintained its “buy” recommendation for the mobile phone provider. The handset market is developing well for Nokia, with increased demand for mid-tier smartphones and solid subscriber growth in emerging markets, led by India, the agency said.

TEVA
The pharmaceutical group has announced that it has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Ratiopharm for €3.625bn (£3.26bn). RBS Equity Research says the deal represents a strategic fit for Teva. There are risks, according to RBS, but it is not changing its sales and earnings estimates and has maintained a “buy” rating.