BEST OF THE BROKERS

WHITBREAD
Evolution Securities has upgraded Whitbread to “buy” from “hold” following the publication of its interim results on Tuesday. The broker said it had emerged from the recession in good condition with a strong platform for growth. It upgraded its EPS forecasts by 4.5 per cent and 5.1 per cent for FY11 and FY12 respectively increasing its target price to 1,850p.

CARETECH HOLDINGS
Numis has reiterated its “buy” recommendation and 530p price target on Care Tech. The broker said this was because of the move to protect the social care budget in the Comprehensive Spending Review. The fact the government will, over time, become a purchaser of services rather than a provider also suggested local authority care homes will be privatised.

SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC
S&P Equity Research has upgraded its rating on Schneider Electric from “hold” to “buy” following the release of its third quarter sales figures. It has also raised its h target price to €113 from €97 on solid growth, and raised full year earnings guidance. Group sales rose 12 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter driven by emerging markets and recovery in Europe.