BEST OF THE BROKERS

NORTHERN FOODS
Evolution Securities has upgraded the food firm to a “buy” with an upgraded target price of 60p. The broker believes the company’s planned merger with Greencore to create Essenta will create a market leader with a complementary mix of products, with synergy savings of up to £90m. The new firm’s proforma dividend per share remains attractive with a seven per cent yield, Evo adds.

INTERNATIONAL FERRO METALS
Numis rates the steel product producer a “buy” with a target price of 50p. The broker says the firm’s recent AGM statement was mainly positive, with expected root and branch cost-cutting and concerns about rising costs. The firm was optimistic on demand for stainless steel, particularly in China, but the broker sees danger in the South African Rand gaining strength and further dampening growth in the country.

EXPERIAN
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the credit-checking company “overweight” with a target price of 800p. The broker believes the Irish financial crisis will likely have a minimal impact on the Dublin-based firm, with a tax rate in the low-20s set to continue in the short-term. It adds that in the unlikely event of a tax rise to 35 per cent for the group, Experian would lose 16 per cent of its overall earnings.