BEST OF THE BROKERS

KINGFISHER
Morgan Stanley has upgraded the retailer from “equal-weight” to “overweight” and has lifted its target price from 285p to 325p. The broker is increasingly optimistic about the firm’s sourcing plans and the outlook for French consumer spending. Morgan Stanley has trimmed its earnings forecasts for 2012-13 due to currency changes, but expects to see margin increases in the UK and France over the longer term.

IMI
Berenberg rates the engineering group “buy” and has raised its target price to £11.55. The broker thinks IMI’s margins are sustainable, with potential to improve further as its business mix improves. It also reckons that IMI’s exposure to Europe, with 38 per cent of its sales in the region, is better than some had feared. Berenberg estimates a 1-2p earnings per share boost this year thanks to two recent acquisitions.

MICHAEL PAGE
JP Morgan Cazenove has raised its rating from “underweight” to “neutral” and has hiked its target price from 290p to 400p following better than expected results on Tuesday. The broker is encouraged by strong growth in Europe, particularly in Germany, and notes that recruitment in financial services and accountancy has not nosedived as much as some had expected.