BEST OF THE BROKERS

NORTHERN FOODS
JP Morgan Cazenove has moved its rating on Northern Foods back to “underweight” with a new downgraded price target of 40p. The broker says the food manufacturer’s growth and profitability are dependant upon its relationship with UK food retailers and its ability to control its costs. The broker says Northern is likely to come under pressure from the second half of the year.

TESCO
UBS says there were few surprises in Tesco’s interim results. A robust margin performance in the UK made up for a still-soft sales line and growth was augmented by the bank and an improving economic environment, according to the broker, which rates Tesco “buy”. Profit growth of 9.1 per cent is, in the broker’s view, the best indicator of the trajectory of the business.

INMARSAT
Inmarsat has been a stellar performer since its listing, says Barclays Capital. But the company has de-rated, which the broker believes is driven by stalling earnings momentum and, more recently, Harbinger’s 14 per cent stake sale. The broker says that the return on capital employment risk from the Ka-Band investment is factored in and upgrades the stock to “equalweight”.