BEST OF THE BROKERS

BG GROUP
Deutsche Bank rates the oil explorer a “buy” with a target price of £17.25. The broker expects BG’s first quarter results tomorrow to show a 14 per cent rise in operating profit as the uptick in commodities prices outweighs slightly lower production levels. Deutsche has raised its earnings per share forecasts based on the oil price, but notes risks including delays to start-up projects in Brazil and a weak liquefied natural gas markets.

ROYAL BANK OF SCOTLAND
Investec rates the bank a “buy” with a target price of 57p. The bank’s results on Friday were ahead of the broker’s expectations, thanks to a lower than feared loss from non-core operations. Investec notes the jump in charges for the year, but thinks this could be due to charges being bunched into the first quarter figures, and believes the results show a further step towards RBS’s recovery.

LLOYDS BANKING GROUP
UBS rates the bank a “buy” but has cut its target price from 95p to 86p following last week’s results. The broker has cut earnings estimates by 36 per cent for this year as one-off costs continue to pummel the bank’s bottom line, and lowered its sights for the next two years. However, UBS adds that Lloyds offers a good investment case through its rising book value and return on total assets.