<strong>ASTRAZENECA<br /></strong>Jefferies said AstraZeneca faces a series of patent problems throughout its forecast period. While resurgent growth, pipeline delivery and cost savings on its lower cholesterol drug Crestor may help to offset some of the impact, Jefferies see a meagre earnings versus a weighted average of four per cent for the sector.<br /><br /><strong>DIAGEO<br /></strong>Diageo looks set for a difficult 2010, particularly the first half. Investec are downgrading their forecasts and, on the key metric, go for four per cent organic operating profit growth in 2010. But with a stronger second half, a restructuring and a material earnings discount to Pernod, Investec remain buyers on an unchanged 12-month price target of 1060p.<br /><br /><strong>SCOTTISH & SOUTHERN ENERGY<br /></strong>Charles Stanley maintained its buy recommendation on SSE after it issued a brief pre-close trading update. Adjusted pre-tax profit for the six months to 30 September 2009 is expected to revert to a more normal level, Charles Stanley said, and be significantly higher than the same period last year, which was very low. First half results are due to be released on 11 November.