BEST OF THE BROKERS

MITCHELLS & BUTLERS
JP Morgan has downgraded the bar and restaurant operator from “overweight” to “neutral” on the back of recent share price strength, and has lowered its target price by 48p to 360p. The broker thinks the current share price reflects the dilutive impact of major disposals including 333 pubs. However, it expects M&B will offset this by reinvesting £185m in the firm’s key brands.

TALKTALK
UBS rates the telecommunications company a “buy” and has a target price of 146p. The broker thinks the firm is well placed to increase its subscriptions base in 2012 after integration issues this year, thanks in part to a six per cent increase in average broadband customer spend. It predicts solid growth with relatively fixed capital expenditure and expects cash flow to nearly treble by 2014.

ITE GROUP
Goldman Sachs rates the events company a “buy” and has added the firm to its conviction buy list with a raised target price of 350p. ITE is viewed as an attractive emerging market play, well positioned to benefit from ongoing recovery in Russia. ITE’s strong balance sheet means Goldman expects to see further bolt-on acquisitions to augment its organic growth from international customers.