BEST OF THE BROKERS

AFREN
JP Morgan Cazenove (JPM) rates the oil explorer “overweight” with an upgraded target price of 195p. JPM sees Afren as its top pick in the UK exploration and production sector, and has raised its net asset value estimate by 36 per cent on higher oil prices predicted by the broker’s Europe oil team, as well as reserves upgrades at the firm.

LONDON STOCK EXCHANGE
UBS rates the bourse “neutral” and has a 12-month target price of 910p. The broker sees the Maple consortium’s rival bid for TMX as more attractive than the LSE’s offer, with 15 per cent upside. UBS thinks the firm must raise its offer by at least eight per cent to make an impact, which would halve the deal’s earnings accretion.

ROBERT WISEMAN DAIRIES
Brewin Dolphin rates the dairy group “hold” and has dropped its target price from 355p to 310p. The broker thinks recent price rises achieved by the firm have now been outstripped by soaring oil-related costs, which it calculates translate to a 22 per cent drop in pre-tax profit to £20.5m for the year.