BEST OF THE BROKERS

STAGECOACH
Deutsche Bank has downgraded the transport group to “hold” from “buy”, with a target price of 240p. The broker has raised its earnings per share forecast for 2010 by five per cent, and believes the firm will weather the withdrawal of some subsidies, though fuel costs could dampen growth.

BETFAIR
Numis rates the bookmaker “buy” with a target price of £16. The broker expects the firm to report flat revenue during its maiden interim results next Tuesday, but notes that Betfair’s quarterly growth is usually volatile and expects limited share liquidity to cushion any drop following the results.

DE LA RUE
UBS has upgraded the banknote printer to “neutral” from “sell” with a new 12-month target price of 845p, up from 500p. The broker believes Oberthur’s takeover offer needs to hit 950p a share before De La Rue shareholders consider it, and notes that a deal would probably be a good strategic fit.