UBS rates the retailer a “buy” but has reduced its target price to 65p from 72p. The broker says markets remained weak over the summer due to the World Cup, but that competitors fared better thanks to promotions. It has cut its pre-tax profit estimates for 2011 by six per cent to £65m, and expects a dividend cut next year.
Numis views the construction firm’s purchase of Connaught’s contracts last week as a good fit, and rates the stock a “hold” with a target price of 595p. The firm’s existing presence in the sector should smooth the transition with clients, and the broker sees a return to margins of three to four per cent in the contracts.
Charles Stanley has started coverage with a “buy” rating and a target price of 848p, based on the healthcare laundry firm’s expansion into Europe and China after success in the UK. The broker forecasts five-year earnings growth of around 12 per cent per year, and predicts a surge in the firm’s sales as outsourcing rises.