BEST OF THE BROKERS

SHIRE
JP Morgan Cazenove (JPM) rates the pharma group “neutral” with a £16.40 price target. The broker expects revenue growth forecasts of around 12 per cent when the firm reports fourth quarter results tomorrow, along with margin expansion of around 200 basis points. For the quarter, JPM expects revenue of $910m (£565.9m) and core operating profit of $260m, slightly ahead of consensus estimates.

BNP PARIBAS
Standard & Poor’s rates the bank “buy” with an increased 12-month target price of €70 (£59.31) ahead of BNP’s fourth-quarter results on 17 February. The broker believes BNP’s diversified business model and recent efforts to reduce risk put the group in a good position for the economic recovery. S&P adds that BNP is the least-affected French bank after the Basel III rules, given its 9.0 per cent Tier 1 core capital ratio.

TESCO
Seymour Pierce rates the grocer “buy” with a target price of 480p. The broker sees the loss of online chief Laura Wade-Gery, who has been poached by M&S, as a real blow for Tesco that opens up questions about cracks at the top of the business. Seymour Pierce believes Wade-Gery was a potential future candidate for the chief executive role, and had already been picked to run the commercial side of non-food at Tesco.