BEST OF THE BROKERS

HILL & SMITH
Altium Securities rates the highway infrastructure group a “hold” with a target price of 275p. The broker says it is disappointed by the firm’s recent interim management statement, which reduced the company’s operating profit forecast by £7.5m for the year. Altium has cut its estimates for 2010 pre-tax profit to £41m following the news.

CAIRN
AlphaValue rates the oil explorer an “add” with a target price of 460p. It believes the sale of Cairn’s Indian branch is a sensible part of the firm’s plan to realise value from explorations, and says the best way for the firm to capture the value of increasing production with higher oil prices is through discounted cash flow, which runs at a 67 per cent upside.

GENUS
Brewin Dolphin has put its “hold” recommendation and 703p target price under review following the farming technology firm’s annual general meeting. The broker believes there is short-term weakness in the Chinese market and uncertainty in demand from higher animal feed costs. It adds that the second half of the year is likely to be stronger for the firm.