BEST OF THE BROKERS

SMITH & NEPHEW
Evo Securities rates Smith & Nephew shares a “buy” with a price target of 695p. In a note in which its analysts speculate over what the company plans to do with the cash it is generating, Evo sees strong earnings growth and inventory efficiency as key factors driving future cash generation.

ATH RESOURCES
Seymour Pierce has flagged its “buy” recommendation on ATH Resources following the company’s decision to sell the assets, contracts and intellectual property of its Regeneration business. It notes ATH was labouring to grow the unit and this leaves it to move forward as a profitable, dividend paying coal producer.

OLD MUTUAL
S&P has a “strong sell” rating on Old Mutual shares following half-year results which featured income of £243m compared with a £92m loss a year earlier. S&P warns that while the sale of its US?life operations helped the shares, even the positive scenario for Old Mutual will need the sale of its NedBank business.