Best of the Brokers for 30 April 2013

Citigroup has downgraded the supermarket chain from a “buy” to a “neutral” rating, just two months after upgrading the company. However, the bank says that Sainsbury’s has now more or less reached the 385p target price it set in February. However, it did warn that recent market research suggested a slowdown in growth, and has kept its two per cent like-for-like annual revenue growth expectation.

Morgan Stanley has upped its price target from 1,090p to 1,135p but kept its “equal weight” rating, after the advertising giant’s first quarter results last Friday revealed a better-than-expected forecast for the year. The bank now thinks that WPP’s organic growth will be 3.2 per cent, against a 2.9 per cent expectation beforehand, and that the firm’s profit margins will also improve.

Panmure Gordon has upgraded the company’s share price target from 190p to 205p and kept its “buy” recommendation ahead of this Thursday, when L&G will update investors on trading during the first quarter. The broker says that following news from Standard Life and SJP last week, L&G has the potential to beat forecasts, with fees from auto enrolment offsetting the effect of new gender neutral pricing rules.