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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>ALTERNATIVE NETWORKS</strong><br />Investec said Alternative Network&rsquo;s acquisition of Aurora Kendrick James Group for up to &pound;5.5m, 82 per cent in cash, is a ringing endorsement of its market-leading capabilities and platform. It upgraded its 2010 earnings per share estimates for the firm, increased the target price to 150p and reiterated its &ldquo;buy&rdquo; rating.<br /><br /><strong>PUNCH TAVERNS</strong><br />KBC Peel Hunt made its first comment on Punch Taverns since it downgraded its rating to &ldquo;hold&rdquo; last&nbsp; month. Now that the Office of Fair Trading has responded favourably regarding the beer tie issue, the broker believes Punch is on course to contribute value and is a medium term &ldquo;buy&rdquo;, with a reduced target price of 85p.<br /><br /><strong>WPP</strong><br />Royal Bank of Scotland said that WPP&rsquo;s third-quarter revenue surprised on the upside, and that management seems to be making good progress in achieving its second-half margin goal. The broker added that the group is more exposed to emerging markets than its peer, and raised its target price to 665p, with a &ldquo;buy&rdquo; rating.<br /><br />To appear in Best of the Brokers email your research to <strong>notes@cityam.com</strong>