BEST OF THE BROKERS

WOLSELEY
Standard & Poor’s has initiated coverage of the building products company with a “hold” rating and a 12-month target price of £19.50. The broker notes that Wolseley has lowered its headcount and number of branches drastically since the downturn, and expects a return to profitability in 2011.

ASTRAZENECA
Evolution Securities rates the pharmaceutical group “sell” with a target price of £28.50. The broker believes that AZ’s recent setback for its Brilinta drug, which has been delayed approval by US regulators, emphasises the risks associated with the firm: that it is too dependant on a small number of products.

F&C ASSET MANAGEMENT
JPMorgan Cazenove rates the asset manager “neutral” with a target price of 74p. The broker says that F&C has demonstrated good progress in 2010, but that uncertainty of ownership and strategy linked to activist shareholder Sherborne could have adverse consequences for the firm’s share price.