BEST OF THE BROKERS

BERKELEY GROUP
HSBC has upgraded the housebuilder’s rating from “neutral” to “overweight” and has raised its target price by 340p to £12.30. The broker has raised its forecasts and ratings for a number of British residential property firms after government support for new builds in the Budget and a growing resilience in prices. HSBC sees most of the value limited to firms with a strong presence in the south east of England, like Berkeley.

BP
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the oil major “overweight” with a target price of 575p. A year since the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, the broker thinks BP is suffering from a fresh value gap in its share price following its attempts to do a deal with Rosneft in Russia. JP Morgan thinks BP shares are trading at a 45 per cent discount to the sum of the parts value, even including the $20bn set aside for the oil spill.

PEARSON
Nomura rates the publishing group “reduce” with a target price of £10.36 ahead of the firm’s interim management statement and shareholder meeting next Thursday. The broker expects first-half trading to be tough, with some weak links such as North American Education sales having the potential to drag results below Nomura’s forecasts for the full-year. The broker predicts two per cent organic growth during 2011.