BEST OF THE BROKERS

ANTOFAGASTA
Canaccord Genuity rates the miner a “buy” with a 1,580p target price as it believes civil unrest in Chile will lead to a promised cut in corporation tax there being scrapped. That would hurt Antofagasta’s earnings per share forecasts, and the broker has cut its estimates by three per cent for 2012 and further ahead. Canaccord says its dividend yield is currently six per cent and it is likely to issue another special dividend by the end of the year.

IMPERIAL TOBACCO
Morgan Stanley has added the cigarette maker to its best ideas list with an “overweight” rating based on its research in August, which concluded that the company has ample scope for cost cuts to add leverage to its robust and improving top-line trends. MS believes Imperial reflects attractive tobacco industry features such as strong pricing power, high volumes, few input cost pressures and cash generation, at a low valuation compared to its peers.

DEBENHAMS
Numis rates Debenhams a “hold” with a 55p target price after cutting its forecasts for its 2012 pre-tax profit by £26m to £152m, ten per cent below the current consensus. The broker believes negative retail sector data shows consumer spending is unlikely to recover in 2012 and views Debenhams as a target for short interest despite its fundamentals being strong and the company well managed.