BEST OF THE BROKERS

FENNER
Citigroup rates the engineer “buy / high risk” with a target price of 478p. The broker thinks Fenner’s recent end of year statement suggested trading had been ahead of expectations, with strength in both its mining conveyor belt and advance engineering divisions. Citi has upgraded its 2011 earnings per share forecasts by seven per cent – its fourth such upgrade since the start of the year, and representative of a year on year growth rate of 62 per cent.

BRITISH AMERICAN TOBACCO
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the tobacco group “overweight”. The broker reports an upbeat sentiment at the firm following a presentation by its sales team and that earnings per share should grow in high single digits over the medium term. Volume trends have continued to improve, and JP Morgan expects the group to follow rivals in raising prices in Spain in due course.

GLAXOSMITHKLINE
Goldman Sachs rates the pharmaceutical group “sell” with a target price of £11.30. The broker expects sales volumes for the firm’s Advair drug to continue falling, leading to a five per cent fall this year. The cornerstone drug is facing headwinds on several fronts, Goldman adds, with generic rivals expected in the next six to nine months and a broader switch in the US away from long-acting products.