BEST OF THE BROKERS

EASYJET
Nomura expects the airline to report a half-year pre-tax loss of £162m at its update next Tuesday, hammered by rising fuel prices and disruption in North Africa. However, the broker expects the weakening dollar to give easyJet a rare tailwind, as it runs on a material short dollar position, and predicts a full-year profit of £160m as revenues per seat rise. Nomura maintains its “neutral” rating with a 470p target price.

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JP Morgan Cazenove rates the retailer “underweight” and has raised its target price by 50p to £16.70. The broker was pleasantly surprised by the firm’s full-year results earlier in the week, despite falling consumer confidence and footfall in the wider market. JP Morgan speculates that the warm weather has pulled forward revenues from the summer, and adds that its new target price still reflects substantial downside.

WEIR GROUP
Credit Suisse rates the engineer “outperform” and has lifted its target price from £18.35 to £21.30. The broker has also raised its 2011 profit forecasts by eight per cent following a bullish interim management statement earlier in the week, signaling strong earnings momentum for the rest of the year. Credit Suisse’s pre-tax profit estimate of £381m is six per cent ahead of consensus, and its target price now represents 10 per cent upside.