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BEST OF THE BROKERS

THORNTONS
Execution Noble has downgraded its rating of Thorntons from “buy” to “sell”. It says the chocolate-maker wavered at the January trading update, when the store sales trend was weaker than expected. It warns that earnings are likely to be volatile making it hard to support a positive investment case.

THE RESTAURANT GROUP
Seymour Pierce has given The Restaurant Group a “buy” recommendation. It estimates the likely effect of the current disruption in UK airports on The Restaurant Group’s profits before tax is £1m – a calculation based on two weeks of closure. Seymour Pierce was below consensus prior to the ash disruption.

PEUGEOT
Standard & Poor’s (S&P) Equity Research reiterates its “sell” recommendation on Peugeot after the car group reported first quarter revenues of €14bn. S&P says its concerns continue to rest on Peugeot’s high EU exposure and the extent of volume payback from the second half. EU car market guidance is implying sharp declines.

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