BEST OF THE BROKERS

AVIVA
Citi rates the insurance group “hold” with a target price of 415p, lowered from 440p. The broker has updated its forecast due to the effects of dilution from asset sales, which could impede medium term earnings growth. Aviva’s results showed strong progress in life earnings, while non-life earnings were affected by lower investment results that partially offset better underwriting profits.

BALFOUR BEATTY
JP Morgan rates the infrastructure company “overweight” with a target price of 426p. Despite Balfour Beatty’s shares declining 23 per cent since reporting its full year results in March and the increasing uncertainty over US infrastructure spending, the broker thinks that the price-to-earnings trading discount to UK peers has been over exaggerated and their potential earnings impact is higher than the current share price suggests.

G4S
UBS rates the security company “buy” with a target price of 330p. The broker expects positive half-year results when the firm reports on 23 August, partially due to its high expectations of G4S’s emerging markets organic growth. While the firm has been more resilient in the face of wage pressures in Europe than peers including Securitas, its margins have suffered a drag from higher taxes and slower cost savings.