BEST OF THE BROKERS

WEIR GROUP
Goldman Sachs rates the engineering company as a “buy” with a target price of 3,100p and marginally increases its 2012/13 earnings per share forecasts to reflect the broker’s increasing confidence that Weir’s joint ventures will begin to yield growing profitability. Key downsides for the group are weaker volumes, slower-than-expected economic recovery, raw material costs and value-destructive M&A.

RENTOKILL
JP Morgan rates the cleaning-to-pest-control firm as “underweight” with a target price of 65p following third quarter results and an investor seminar. To account for a worse performance by its City Link division the broker has reduced its earnings per share for 2011 by eight per cent, and assumes the company will not resume its dividend this year. The broker does not expect a return to profitability for City Link until the second half of 2012.

TAYLOR WIMPEY
Deutsche Bank rates the housebuilder as a “buy” and a target price of £55, after the company reported a brief but robust management update. The broker says the key figure is the stronger than expected selling rate per site of 0.55, compared to 0.51 estimate. TW has an order book that already incudes 15-18 per cent of private orders for next year, which should help build confidence in the resilience of demand.