BEST OF THE BROKERS

WILLIAM HILL
Execution Noble has reiterated its “buy” recommendation for the bookmaker saying business continues to hold up and management now expects to come out at the top end of current analyst forecasts for the current year. The broker says William Hill is managing its market position and looks better than its peers and is developing its online business well.

NOVARTIS
Evo Securities has kept its “buy” recommendation on Novartis after it reported third quarter results ahead of expectations, with sales of $12.6bn and core earnings per share of $1.36. The broker said positives include its Diovan drug sales holding up in the light of the possible risk of substitution by generics and strong $292m sales from its generic drug Lovenox.

PERNOD RICARD
S&P Equity Research has kept its recommendation to “buy” Pernod at its 12-month target price of €72 following the firm’s first quarter sales update revealing 9.4 per cent organic sales growth year on year. This was ahead of expectations as emerging markets led the group’s sales increase with 20 per cent growth in the period, raising their share of sales to 37 per cent.