BEST OF THE BROKERS

AMLIN
The insurer’s underlying performance remained solid despite results at the bottom end of consensus estimates, according to Jefferies. The broker added that Amlin should see the benefits of pruning its portfolio in 2011. Jeffries kept its EPS forecasts for 2011 unchanged at 6.3 times after high acquisition costs, but kept its “buy” rating.

PERSIMMON
The housebuilder’s margins jumped in its interim results this week, said Citi, though its asset writeback remains conservative at around 23p per share. The broker was impressed by Persimmon’s improving balance sheet, with gearing of just seven per cent. Citi said the firm’s land bank would provide continued support. “Buy” at 650p.

WPP
Deutsche Bank said buying shares in the advertiser is a balanced way of gaining exposure to the recovery in media budgets, after upgrading its full year EPS forecasts by 4.5 per cent. The broker said the gap between WPP and rival Omnicom is closing, thanks to organic revenue growth of seven per cent in July. “Buy” at 860p.