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BEST OF THE BROKERS

CLAPHAM HOUSE

Following a gloomy outlook from the restaurant group for 2010, Seymour Pierce yesterday said it pulled back its recommendation on the shares and is now taking a neutral stance on Clapham House. The broker had hoped a bidder would emerge for the troubled group, but without any suitors on the horizon and difficult times ahead, it thinks the shares look overvalued.

CAPE

Collins Stewart yesterday said shares in the energy services firm had been oversold. It believes concerns about Cape’s exposure to the Middle East are unfounded as its direct dealings with Dubai are insignificant. Trading has been strong, and the broker reiterated its buy recommendation saying the shares remain too cheap for a company with Cape's market position.

CARNIVAL

Evolution thinks the recent dip in the cruise company’s share price represents a good buying opportunity. Carnival has been cautious in its guidance for the year, but the broker thinks fuel costs will be lower than feared and the results will not be as bad as expected. Evolution also points to evidence of an uptake in bookings and says recovery is on the way.