BEST OF THE BROKERS

MEARS
Altium rates the housing repair firm a “hold” with a target price of 270p. The broker has downgraded its 2010 pre-tax profit forecasts by £0.6m, or two per cent, due to costs linked to small contract wins in the wake of Connaught’s collapse. The firm’s social housing pipeline has slipped slightly to £2.8bn, however, and the broker has reduced its revenue forecasts.

SAB MILLER
UBS rates the brewer a “buy” with an upgraded target price of £22.20 ahead of the firm’s half-year results in two weeks’ time. The broker expects to see strong organic growth in the next six months, but has reduced its earnings per share forecasts for 2011 and 2012 by 2.4 per cent and 1.5 per cent respectively due to weaker emerging markets sales.

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
Nomura has a “reduce” rating on the bank with a target price of 41p. Analysts see the bank as a beneficiary of the recovery in UK banking, though Lloyds and Barclays are viewed as a better bet in the sector. Nomura expects a 10 per cent jump in revenues to £7.8bn in the bank’s quarterly results on Friday, and that its core tier one capital ratio will remain stable at 10.5 per cent.