BEST OF THE BROKERS

TESCO
JP Morgan Cazenove rates Tesco “overweight” with a 577p target price as it believes its growth story is defensive, multi-pronged, highly visible and sustainable. The broker sees its share price as depressed, and believes Tesco’s diversification and low reliance on UK consumers as increasingly important as the UK economic climate worsens, giving it a better chance of growth than its peers.

PACE
Canaccord Genuity rates Pace a “hold” with a 100p target price ahead of its first-half results over concerns that its business model is unattractive as it services customers with strong bargaining power, needs a lot of working capital and faces intense competition, which pressurises its margins and cash generation. It sees Pace as weakened by product delays in the first half and sees earnings risk for the full-year.

MARSTON’S
Numis rates the pub group a “buy” with a 130p target price as it expects its third-quarter results to show 2.5 per cent like-for-like sales growth in its managed pubs despite a tough market. Poorer weather than last year should have slowed managed estate drink sales, but food, which is now 65 per cent of managed revenue, should be resilient. It should also benefit from improved margins in its new build venues.