BEST OF THE BROKERS

AMEC
Morgan Stanley has downgraded the engineering consultancy to “underweight” with a target price of £10.80 due to risks from the firm’s excess cash pile of around $1bn. The broker believes that AMEC missed the opportunity to expand through acquisitions when valuations were low in 2009, and sees a risk of the firm acquiring rivals at demanding multiples or instead leaving its cash pile idle.

BARCLAYS
Nomura rates the bank “neutral” with a 340p price target. The broker sees the bank’s return on equity targets as relatively demanding, implying a pre-tax profit of £10.4bn in 2010 terms, meaning a material re-rating is unlikely despite its recent positive results. Nomura has raised its pre-tax profit estimates by eight per cent to £7.135bn for 2011 on the back of better-than expected results at Barclays Capital.

GO-AHEAD GROUP
RBS rates the transport group “hold” with a target price of £11. The broker expects in-line half-year results tomorrow, though the focus will be on possible structural changes for the UK rail sector and how the firm will approach franchise opportunities. RBS predicts half-year revenues of £1.09bn and pre-tax profit of £45.9m. It expects the interim dividend to remain in place at 25.5p per share.