BEST OF THE BROKERS

NESTLE
UBS Investment Research has maintained its “buy” rating on Nestle following anticipation of first half sales of SwFr 55.2bn (£33.4bn) to be announced next Wednesday, including organic sales growth of 5.8 per cent. Despite its warning top-line growth will be slower in the second half, UBS believes good margins will underpin solid full-year results.

TOTAL
Citigroup says French oil giant Total is showing signs of recovery in returns evidenced by its second quarter net income which was well ahead of 2009 and 13 per cent ahead of its forecast. It highlights the stock has declined 23 per cent in US dollar terms this year, underperforming the sector, justifying its rating of “buy/medium risk”, it believes.

UNITED BUSINESS MEDIA
First half numbers in United Business Media (UBM) were sound and beat its forecast, says Morgan Stanley. It cites the only disappointment being the lack of a dividend increase, but key indicators were positive, it believes. It maintains an “equal weight” rating due to worries the trading environment could decline sharply, but expects it to do well near-term.