<strong>LAIRD</strong><strong></strong><br />KBC Peel Hunt upgraded Laird to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; from &ldquo;hold&rdquo; ahead of next week&rsquo;s first half management statement. The broker has concluded there are potential upgrades to its forecasts based on restocking trends, high incremental profit drop-through and entry into a period of easier year-on-year comparatives.<br /><strong><br />WH SMITH<br /></strong>Investec said that WH Smith&rsquo;s expansion of its Travel division into new channels and international destinations look set to lay to rest the criticism that it can&rsquo;t shrink its way to profit growth forever. The broker increased its target price on the shares to 575p, and said it is happy to remain a buyer of the stock.<br /><br /><strong>RIO TINTO</strong><br />Evolution Securities said Rio Tinto&rsquo;s stellar share price performance is directly related to China&rsquo;s massive stimulus programme having a knock-on effect on third-quarter commodity demand and pricing. The broker has therefore increased sales and revenue forecasts, but also dollar costs, and maintains its &ldquo;add&rdquo; recommendation.