BEST OF THE BROKERS

HENNES & MAURITZ
JP Morgan Cazenove rates the Swedish clothing retailer as “underweight” with a target price of Skr195.80 (£18.29), issuing an alert as it sees gross margin risks accelerate. The broker says H&M has entered the fourth quarter with very high inventories, with like-for-like sales deteriorating in the first month. With the implication that more price investment is to come, this implies gross margin risk, and the broker prefers Zara owner Inditex.

GKN
Citi rates the auto parts and equipment group as a “hold/medium risk” and reduces its target price to £1.85 from £2.20. The broker presents two revisions to its forecasts, firstly based on a three per cent assumption for global auto growth for 2012 earnings, and secondly to incorporate GKN’s 2011 acquisitions, with relatively little net change to the earnings forecasts. Consensus earnings for 2012 are up £28m in the last month, to £533m.

HSBC
Morgan Stanley rates the banking group as “overweight” with a target price of 665p, seeing it as well placed, but not immune to a global slowdown. The broker sees HSBC as attractive to relative and absolute investors, with a 30 per cent implied upside to its reduced target price. It has cut its earnings on lower investment banking revenues, higher impairments and lower net interest income, but say HSBC suits investors looking to avoid Eurozone problems.