BEST OF THE BROKERS

GREAT PORTLAND
UBS has downgraded the property firm from “neutral” to “sell” and has raised its target price by 40p to 390p. The broker thinks the current share price is forward-looking, and does not allow for much execution risk in Great Portland’s ambitious development plans in the City and West End. However, it thinks strong news on the London letting market and early pre-lets could at some stage drive up the share price.

BARRATT DEVELOPMENTS
Brewin Dolphin has started covering the housebuilder with a “buy' rating and a 171p target price. The broker thinks there are now clear signs to invest in residential property stocks, with stabilising house prices and growing availability of high loan-to-value mortgages. Brewin also thinks Barratt, along with peers Bellway, Bovis and Persimmon, have made efforts to repair their balance sheets since 2009.

J SAINSBURY
Evolution Securities rates the supermarket “reduce” and has a target price of 310p. The broker expects to see a slowdown in sales momentum when the firm reports full-year results tomorrow, and views Sainsbury’s as vulnerable to any slowing in sales given its weak free cash flow and relatively high gearing. Evo is looking for reassurance on the company’s funding gap, given its rise in capital expenditure alongside dividend payments.