BEST OF THE BROKERS

SYNGENTA
Nomura rates the agricultural chemical maker as a “buy” and increases its target price from SwFr380 to SwFr385 after a better than expected set of third-quarter sales. The broker sees solid growth for 2012, plus a pricing improvement and productivity gains, which should more than offset adverse currency and raw material effects. Nomura increases its earnings per share by 1.4 per cent for 2011 and 1,8 per cent for 2012.

ASOS
JP Morgan rates the online fashion retailer as “neutral” with a target price of 1,900p, after its UK sales growth slowed substantially in the second quarter. Though international sales continue to perform strongly, the slow rate of UK growth is likely to be viewed as disappointing. The broker reduces its full year UK sales to +4 per cent from +13 per cent, representing second half growth of +1 per cent.

PREMIER FOODS
Citi downgrades the food producer from buy/high risk to “neutral/high risk” with a target price of 5p after a sharper than expected deterioration in trading. The broker says the group’s third quarter trading statement reflected an increasingly competitive market environment, with the slowdown in its drive brands of most concern. Citi lowers its estimates for full year trading profit in 2011 from £225m to £175m, reflecting the slowdown in grocery.