Best of the Brokers for 29 April 2013

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Peel Hunt has downgraded Brewin Dolphin from “buy” to “hold” but left its target price of 230p unchanged. The broker said the strategic review Brewin is undertaking has the potential to help lift operating profits by 26 per cent and drive a higher rating. But it said in the short term shares look up with events, given management changes.

Panmure Gordon has kept its “hold” rating and target price of 309p for accountancy software group Sage ahead of its interim results published on 8 May. The broker said despite some nervousness around the company’s results amid on-going challenges in Europe and downgrades amongst its peers, it expects Sage’s results to be in line and said any changes to estimates are likely to be minimal.

Numis has upped its target price from 580p to 610p and reiterated an “add” rating. The broker tweaked its forecasts following St James’s recent new business update, which “was in line to slightly better on all measures”. It has changed its forecast for total new business on an annual premium equivalent - a measure of new business activity - in 2013 and 2014 to £903m and £1050m (from £919m and £1064m).