BEST OF THE BROKERS

BT GROUP
JP Morgan Cazenove (JPM) rates the telecoms group “overweight” and has cut its 12-month target price by 6p to 214p to reflect changes to the firm’s pensions deficit. The broker thinks many of BT’s short-term cost efficiencies might be reinvested to achieve growth targets, meaning slowing momentum before the firm returns to sustainable growth. JPM expects revenues to dip 3.7 per cent when the firm reports full-year figures.

DIAGEO
Nomura rates the drinks firm “buy” with a target price of £15. The broker continues to see improving trade in the group’s main markets, especially in the US, and expects European sales to deliver single digit growth over the next two to three years. Nomura also predicts further acquisition activity after the firm’s deal in Turkey last month, which will provide a further catalyst for Diageo’s share price.

NATIONAL EXPRESS
RBS rates the transport group “buy” with a target price of 270p. The broker thinks the call for new non-executives by activist investor Elliot Advisors will help the investment case for National Express, given previous speculation about Elliot hoping to sell or break up the company. However, RBS adds that its rating is based on continued financial recovery within the group and expects £113.9m pre-tax profit for the year.