BEST OF THE BROKERS

BSKYB
Credit Suisse rates the media group “neutral” and has raised its target price to 870p, based on the price it believes News Corp might have to pay to secure a takeover recommendation from the board. A News Corp offer for BSkyB could come within days, the broker thinks. Credit Suisse has calculated its new target based on a 20 per cent probability of News Corp walking away, in which case it foresees a drop in the share price to 685p.

THE RESTAURANT GROUP
Numis has cut its stance on the leisure group from “buy” to “hold” with a target price of 360p. The broker expects like-for-like sales to be 0.8 per cent ahead of forecasts when the firm updates on 11 May, alongside its annual general meeting, and thinks 20 per cent earnings growth is possible this year barring any weather disruptions. Numis also expects net debt to be halved to around £24m this year.

LAVENDON
Peel Hunt has started covering the construction equipment firm with a “hold” rating and a target price of 100p. The broker thinks long-term gains are possible, and that a recent 115p per share takeover bid suggests potential value as the construction sector recovers. However, Peel Hunt thinks market fragility and an ageing fleet, along with the rejected bid price, put a short-term ceiling on the shares.