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BEST OF THE BROKERS

DEBENHAMS
Numis reiterates its “buy” recommendation on Debenhams citing the retailer’s solid interim results, which place it comfortably ahead of Numis’ expectations. Numis raises August forecasts to £147m from £137m and sees scope for a rise in like-for-like sales. Despite a strong run, Numis believes the stock continues to offer value.

BHP BILLITON
A “buy” recommendation has been maintained for BHP Billiton by Standard & Poor’s (S&P) equity research, which say that BHP's bulk commodities, particularly iron ore and metallurgical coal, are the key drivers of its continued optimism thanks to Chinese growth and limited global supplies. S&P raises its 12-month price to 2,700p.

RECKITT BENCKISER
Reckitt Benckiser’s share price has underperformed the S&P Europe 350 Consumer Staples index over the last 12 months largely due to investors’ concern about potential competition for Suboxone in the US. Standard & Poor’s equity research says this issue has now been “priced in” and upgrades its rating to “hold” from “sell”.

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