BEST OF THE BROKERS

RAB CAPITAL
JP Morgan Cazenove (JPM) has downgraded the hedge fund manager to “neutral” with no target price following its full-year results. The broker thinks the firm is still mid-transition, with outflows from its special situations fund expected this year that could be offset by new fund launches. JPM thinks financial risks for the company are minimal as its balance sheet remains strong, but has cut its 2011 forecasts.

CAPITAL & COUNTIES
Espirito Santo rates the property developer “buy” with a fair value of 184p. The broker thinks C&C’s Earls Court plans look promising, with planning consent expected in December 2013. It also forecasts a £23.9m per acre value of the site after planning approval, giving a £82m net asset value lift to C&C. The firm has a relatively safe business despite the new project, with a loan to value ratio of just 37 per cent, the broker adds.

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS
Numis rates the pub chain “buy” with a target price of 430p. The broker urges investors not to panic over the departure of chief executive Adam Fowle, since the firm’s strategy is firmly in place with a stable executive committee to back it up. Numis notes that the board has delivered positive like-for-like sales every year since 2003, and has arguably the best quality assets in the sector.