BEST OF THE BROKERS

MORGAN CRUCIBLE
Citi reiterates its “buy” rating on the engineering group and raises its target price from £3.70 to £4.10, following an unscheduled trading update reflecting a strong finish to first half trading. Sales for the period are now set to be around £560m, with pre-restructuring earnings before tax at £70m. Compared to previous forecasts, this suggest a profit level around 10 per cent ahead of expectations.

SHIRE
Goldman Sachs rates the biopharmaceutical company as “neutral” with a target price of 2300p, after the company said its US market in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder drug grew by 10 per cent in June. The year-to-date growth is 12 per cent ahead of the broker’s estimate, and implies the US market needs only conservative growth of four per cent for the rest of 2011 to meet full-year estimates. ADHD drugs are c35 per cent of Shire’s revenue.

ASML HOLDING
Nomura rates the semiconductors equipment maker as “neutral” with a target price of €26, after reducing its top-line forecast for 2012 by five per cent to €4.4bn to reflect growing concern on orders and a lower contribution from its EUV tools. Second quarter orders missed expectations, and the company has guided for a 40 per cent sequential decline in third quarter numbers. The broker sees order levels remaining subdued for the rest of the year.