BEST OF THE BROKERS

BARCLAYS BANK
Deutsche Bank rates the bank “buy” with a target price of 372p. The researchers see potential for a restructuring programme under new management, or at least a stripping out of undervalued capital. However, the broker has cut its target price from 395p and earnings per share estimates by four to six per cent for the next two years.

PUNCH TAVERNS
Numis rates the pub chain “buy” with a target price of 100p. The broker expects the firm’s interim results due on Friday to concentrate on operational performance, with like-for-like sales set to rise by two per cent, slightly lower than last year because of the weather. Numis also predicts disposal rates for failing pubs to have halved.

CAPITA GROUP
Evolution Securities rates the outsourcing group “sell” with a fair value price of 660p. The broker thinks Capita can benefit from the government’s new localism bill, which raises the prospects for increased outsourcing. It adds that Capita’s acquisition of iSoft this week will add around one per cent to operating profit this year.