BEST OF THE BROKERS

CENTRICA
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the utility “overweight” with a target price of 390p. The broker thinks an ongoing Ofgem supply review is unlikely to lead to a Competition Commission referral, and that the market has not priced in a formal investigation. JPM expects to see a carbon tax of £1 per tonne in the next government budget in March, with Centrica benefitting from a low carbon fleet.

RIGHTMOVE
Investec rates the estate agent “hold” with a target price of 656p. The broker expects signs of strong earnings momentum when the firm reports its full-year results on 25 February, with the share price further supported by an ongoing share buyback. However, the broker views shares as fully-valued at present, and will review its rating and target price ahead of the results.

ASHTEAD
UBS rates the equipment rental group “buy” and has raised its target price 40 per cent to 265p. The broker expects the rental industry to exceed its earlier sales records even if the construction sector does not return to its historical peak, and that Ashtead’s fleet utilisation makes it well-placed to benefit. UBS adds that the ongoing rates rise in rentals has another 18 to 24 months left to run, further supporting share price gains.