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BEST OF THE BROKERS

NOVARTIS
Citigroup gives Novartis a “buy” rating but warns that the commercial opportunity for drug Gilenia could be restricted by FDA safety concerns. Citi said its forecasts for sales of $780m by 2014 do not seem conservative and the appeal of the stock is the above-average earnings per share growth and low valuation.

SABMILLER
JP Morgan Cazenove has issued SABMiller with an “overweight” rating and said the drinks group has underperformed its European brewing peers. JP Morgan said it sees the shares continuing to mark time in the short-term. JP Morgan views this as an opportunity to review the long-term case, which it continues to see as compelling.

NORTHERN FOODS
Northern Foods delivered 2010 results marginally higher than consensus expectations, according to Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), which said that the underlying earnings per share are up 8.4 per cent. With the stock now trading at a 9.8 per cent dividend yield, it continues to look attractive to RBS, which issued a “buy” rating.

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