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BEST OF THE BROKERS

<strong>TRAVIS PERKINS</strong><br />Royal Bank of Scotland said that Travis Perkins continues to manage its way through a difficult, but expected, merchanting market with DIY surprisingly resilient. It upgraded its forecasts to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; from &ldquo;hold&rdquo; with a target price increased to 925p. The firm&rsquo;s shares remain the brokers prefered merchant play.<br /><br /><strong>HMV GROUP</strong><br />Goldman Sachs upgraded HMV to &ldquo;buy&rdquo; and added it to the conviction list, with a target price of 150p, saying the company can improve earnings as it capitalises on the market share opportunity following Woolworths and Zavvi&rsquo;s exit. It believes HMV to be a compelling buying opportunity following a recent underperformance.<br /><br /><strong>SAGE</strong><br />Jefferies International moved Sage from &ldquo;buy&rdquo; to &ldquo;hold&rdquo; because, at 224p, it has exceeded the broker&rsquo;s target price. It said the business has some strong market positions and its large subscription revenue base is an attractive attribute. But it said that excitement over the 2010 outlook may be premature.