JP Morgan rates the recruitment group as “overweight” with a target price of CHF35.80 (£27.89), concluding that the company’s long-term fundamentals appear solid and that even in a low growth environment for the sector it should deliver a good top line and profit growth. The broker says the key disappointment in Adecco’s second quarter figures was its gross margin, but thinks that 16.9 per cent is the trough and it should improve from here.
Citigroup maintains its “sell” rating on the newspaper group and lowers its target price to 35p from 62p to reflect the broker’s view of increased risks related to phone hacking. Citi increases its full year earnings-per-share by seven per cent to 22.8p and leaves its 2012/13 forecasts largely unchanged. The broker balances lower ad forecasts against rising circulation for the top line, and says £10m in planned cost savings will help offset higher newsprint.
Goldman Sachs rates the advertising group as a “buy” with an unchanged target price of 910p. The broker says that WPP stock is now trading in line with the UK market as opposed to its historical premium of 25-30 per cent, but that its macro outlook is braodly sound. Ahead of the group’s first-half figures on 24 August investors are concerned about organic growth, but Goldman Sachs believes any slowdown will be limited.