Best of the Brokers for 29 May 2013

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RBC raised the price target for the brewing company to 3,800p from 3,500p while maintaining its “sector perform” rating. The firm’s 2013 results were in line with expectations, a positive sign for the broker given the recent lacklustre performance of the consumer staples sector. RBC forecast an annual operating earnings margin growth of 0.4 percentage points, which would give a 10 per cent lift in share price.

Bank of America Merrill Lynch has raised the retailer’s price target to 525p from 450p and reiterated its “buy” recommendation following a retail conference held last week. The broker said it believed systems and IT improvements will help generate future cash returns, while cuts in capital expenditure will allow the firm to increase dividend and buyback shares for 2014.

UBS has significantly upgraded the online grocer’s price target to 200p from 46p but maintains its “sell” rating. The broker believes the deal signed earlier this month with Wm Morrison to provide online services for its supermarkets will eliminate balance sheet risks and provide a robust cash balance. UBS remains concerned over soft sales growth and said the share’s current valuation factors in excess optimism.