BEST OF THE BROKERS

COMPASS GROUP
Deutsche Bank rates the caterer “buy” with a target price of 685p ahead of its half year pre-close trading update on Thursday. The broker thinks that success in North America and in new markets should offset any impact from recent natural disasters in Japan, and is expecting 4.9 per cent organic growth in the first half of 2011. However, the broker sees a continued risk of public sector spending cuts hitting growth.

BP
Citigroup rates the oil major “medium risk” with a 12-month target price of 525p. The broker sees last week’s arbitration ruling against BP as a setback but not the end of the dispute. Citi believes BP AAR’s respective stakes in TNK-BP have a book value of around $10bn, and could fetch more in the current market, though the broker thinks BP needs to maintain relations with AAR to protect the value of the firm.

ESSAR ENERGY
Morgan Stanley has cut its target price on the India-focused power firm by two per cent to 415p but maintains its “underweight” rating. The broker has reduced its forecasts following news of delays to new projects announced last week, but remains impressed by the firm’s ambitious growth plans. There is still scope for further delays and forecast reductions, Morgan Stanley adds.