BEST OF THE BROKERS

ASSOCIATED BRITISH FOODS
Deutsche Bank rates the food-to-fashion conglomerate as a “hold” and raises its target price from 950p to 1,050p, seeing extremely favourable dynamics in European sugar as likely to keep prices high and generate a major windfall for the group. The broker upgrades its 2011-12 earnings per share forecast by £70m or around eight per cent as a result, with risk remaining to the upside. However, high street woes could impact its Primark and grocery businesses.

OCADO
Goldman Sachs retains its “buy” rating on the online shopping service with a target price of 297p, but updates estimates after the recent in-line first half results. The broker sees full-year sales growth of 23 per cent to £633m in 2011, and updates its capital expenditure to £181m from £153m. Forecasts for earnings before tax fall by eight per cent and 22 per cent in 2012 and 2013, reflecting higher interest costs and depreciation from higher capex assumptions.

EXPERIAN
Citi upgrades the credit information group from “hold” to “buy” and lifts its target price from £8.50 to £9.40, taking advantage of market uncertainty around the company’s Brazil outlook. The broker’s upgrade is based on an improved understanding of Experian’s long-term Brazilian growth opportunities coupled with eight per cent earnings upgrades. Citi says short-term risks have been overplayed, and highlights Brazil’s underdeveloped mortgage market.