Best of the Brokers for 22 April 2013

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Peel Hunt has a “hold” rating on the homewares retailer and a target price of 600p ahead of a trading update tomorrow. The broker expects the cold start to the year to have boosted Carpetright, and is forecasting low single-digit growth in like-for-like sales. European sales are set to be sharply lower due to weakness in the Netherlands, Peel Hunt adds.

Morgan Stanley has an “equal-weight” rating on the insurance group and has raised its target price from 1,201p to 1,257p ahead of an interim management statement on Thursday. The broker sees signs of increasing confidence in the firm’s dividend payouts, though stiff competition in the UK insurance market is dampening near-term growth prospects.

Investec rates the bank a “buy” and has a target of 345p, ahead of an interim management statement on Wednesday. The broker continues to see value in Barclays’ shares, despite it being the only banking stock to outperform the FTSE 100 so far this year. The bank’s cost-cutting drive along should be enough to drive the shares further, Investec reckons.