BEST OF THE BROKERS

VOLKSWAGEN
S&P Equity Research has raised its 12-month target price to €145 from €125 and reiterated its “buy” recommendation on Volkswagen (VW) preference shares. It says VW remains in an excellent position in the medium term with what it expects to be €20bn industrial net cash at the end of the year, a strong double-digit EBIT margin and good sales prospects from its highly important Audi division.

ELECTRA PRIVATE EQUITY
Winterflood said Electra Private Equity produced a good set of results, which benefited from the sales of some recent opportunistic investments as well as from some of its older investments. In share price terms, performance has been impressive; it calculates that over the last 12 months, the fund’s share price has increased by 32 per cent, compared with the FTSE All Share which has risen 11 per cent.

SHIRE PHARMACEUTICALS
Shore Capital has reiterated its “buy” recommendation for Shire, saying the pharmaceutical firm is in a enviable position. Shire has delivered 15 per cent sales growth as well as 15 per cent earnings per share growth. The broker says Shire is positioned to continue to do well despite warnings over earnings momentum in 2011 and a possible FDA review of one the companies core franchises.