BEST OF THE BROKERS

IG GROUP
Investec rates the trading and betting firm “buy” with a target price of 625p. The broker believes that a return to volatility and continued growth in the UK and abroad could lead to material upgrades to its forecasts, despite a small downgrade due to a drop in Japanese business. Investec predicts revenues of £332.5m in 2011, with earnings per share of around 33.2p.

TRAVIS PERKINS
Morgan Stanley has downgraded the builders’ merchant to “equal-weight” with a target price of £12.50 due to increasing concern over UK consumer spending. The broker warns that there are few short-term catalysts for the firm’s sales, and has cut its forecasts by seven to 11 per cent. Morgan Stanley recommends buying Wolseley shares instead, due to its greater geographical diversity.

LEGAL & GENERAL
Panmure Gordon rates the financial services firm “buy” with an increased target price of 130p. It believes the impact of L&G’s capital restructuring in the US will be relatively small compared to the amount of surplus capital the firm has, resulting in the shares initially suffering from some market disappointment. Panmure however sees an improving macro environment for the sector and trading prospects for L&G this year.