Best of the Brokers for 6 August 2013

LADBROKES
Ahead of the bookmaker’s first-half results on Thursday, Peel Hunt has a “hold” rating and a price target of 201p. The broker thinks Ladbrokes is odds-on for a poor set of numbers, with earnings of around £90m and rising costs. Peel Hunt sees Playtech as a better play in the gambling sector.

OPHIR ENERGY
UBS has cut the oil and gas exploration firm’s target price to 375p while lowering its rating from “buy” to “neutral”. The analysts believe that the deferral of expected drilling to 2014 may cause the company’s share value to tumble.

THOMAS COOK
Panmure Gordon has maintained its “buy” recommendation and raised its target from 164p to 180p following positive third-quarter results for the travel firm. The analysts believe that cost cutting measures helped a return to profit, while new products have also helped to lift trading.