BEST OF THE BROKERS

EMPRESARIA
Merchant Securities Research, which downgraded Empresaria to a “sell” last month, said the firm’s interim results yesterday confirm its fears. It points out that operating profit is down 52 per cent, the UK is flat, the boss is stepping down and market expectations will now not be met. Its price target of 25p has already been met so it reverts to a “hold” but it would not recommend buying at this stage.

IMAGINATION TECHNOLOGIES
Numis reiterated its “buy” on Imagination Technologies, setting a target price of 400p. It said licensing activity continues to be strong and broad across graphics and other products. It added that despite a weak macro environment, the firm’s exposure to Apple and new customer ramps should drive substantial royalty growth. The broker said that it remains confident in its 2012 estimates.

DIXONS
Arden says it is a “weak holder” of Dixons shares. It says it has a target of no more than 12p – a 20 per cent discount to its sum-of-the-parts price. It closed at 11p last night. The broker trimmed its full-year pre-tax profit forecast from £85m to £70m-75m, despite more cost-cutting. It says losses in the “other European” operations are “annoyingly persistent” and Pixmania remains under pressure.