BEST OF THE BROKERS

WHITBREAD
Analysts at UBS say Costa and Premier Inn owner Whitbread, which reports first half results tomorrow, is its most preferred stock in the leisure and tobacco sector. The investment bank is forecasting revenues of £889m, ebitda of £183m, and earnings per share of 69.6p. Whitbread’s restaurants continue to drag down on growth but Costa and Premier Inn are performing well. UBS rates the stock a “buy” with a price target of 2000p.

DIAGEO
Analysts at ING expect Diageo to report organic sales growth of four per cent when it updates the markets on first quarter trading on Wednesday. Most of the growth will be driven by Latin America, Africa and Asia-Pacific, while North America could also put in a decent performance. However, ING says Europe is a “black box” due to the euro crisis and bad weather hurting beer sales. ING rates the stock a “hold” with a target price of 1,294p.

LVMH
Analysts at Helvea expect luxury group LVMH to report ongoing sales growth when it updates the market on its third quarter tomorrow. It expects the watch and jewellery divisions to have recorded the best growth, although profits could be hurt by the strong Swiss franc. Helvea thinks it will take some time to determine whether the luxury sector can weather the economic turmoil. Until then, it rates the stock “accumulate” with a target price of €140.