BEST OF THE BROKERS

OLD MUTUAL
Nomura rates the insurer “neutral” and has raised its target price by 15p to 130p. The broker views the firm as strategically challenged, with few synergies between its businesses. Nomura believes that a disposal of Nedbank this year is unlikely while management continue to simplify elsewhere, but has raised its 2011 earnings per share forecast from 15.9p to 16.9p to reflect the firm’s progress to date.

WEIR GROUP
UBS rates the engineering group “buy” with a target price of £20, up from £19. Weir’s results on Tuesday hit the broker’s two main targets: earnings per share passed 100p and sales at its SPM subsidiary were much better than forecast. UBS has raised its 2011 estimates by six per cent despite currency headwinds, thanks to the firm’s record order book, and now expects net income of £242.4m for the full-year.

PINEWOOD SHEPPERTON
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the film group “neutral” with a target price of 173p. The broker has raised its earnings per share estimates by 1.8 per cent for 2011 after better than expected full-year results on Tuesday and a small increase in capital expenditure for new films. JP Morgan was surprised by the firm’s 3.6p dividend payment, which came in above forecasts, and a lower than expected net debt level of £42.7m.