Best of the Brokers for 31 May 2013

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Canaccord reiterates its “buy” rating on the investment management firm and raises its target price to 285p from 230p following yesterday’s better than expected first half results. The firm reported a rise in pre-tax profit for the period ending 31 March of 9.4 per cent to £139m, compared to the broker’s forecast of an 8.7 per cent increase. Canaccord said Brewin’s £40m placing will accelerate its growth strategy.

UBS upgrades its “sell” rating on the interdealer broker to “neutral” and increases the target price to 340p from 305p. The bank cites improved valuation and potential upside to volumes as incentives for the upgrade. UBS also increases its earnings per share estimates for the next two years by two per cent on an improved cyclical outlook. ICAP’s shares rose 5.9 per cent yesterday to 370.3p.

Panmure reiterates its “buy” rating for the Daily Mail owner and upgrades its price target to 1,010p from 950p citing a positive first half. Despite a recent strong rally, Panmure expects the shares to continue outperforming as leverage continues to fall and its online consumer portfolio acts as a “value driver”. Panmure also upgrades its earnings per share forecasts for the 2013-15 fiscal years by close to five per cent.