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BEST OF THE BROKERS

L’OREAL
Standard & Poor’s Equity Research (S&P) has maintained a “hold” stance on L’Oreal as it says the beauty group’s current valuation continues to discount a broad return-to-growth scenario from this year and in its opinion, leaving limited room for expansion. S&P has raised its 12-month target price for L’Oreal to €85 (£74).

CREDIT SUISSE
Evolution Securities leaves profit before tax estimates for Credit Suisse virtually unchanged, as it says lower revenues can be offset by lower costs and lower cost of risk. Evolution maintains a “buy” recommendation on the bank but has reduced earnings per share estimates by five per cent, reflecting a higher tax rate.

PUNCH TAVERNS
Seymour Pierce says that Punch Taverns is still not making the grade and has issued a “sell” recommendation. Seymour Pierce says they forecast declining earnings per share for the largest pub operator in the UK this year compared to consensus expectations of growth. Seymour Pierce says underlying trends are likely to be negative.