BEST OF THE BROKERS

ARM HOLDINGS
Morgan Stanley has upgraded the Cambridge-based chipmaker from equal-weight to “over-weight” with a target price of 650p. The broker says fears of Intel taking market share and uncertainties around Windows8 mean the company’s shares have been underperforming, and that the risks to earnings remain firmly on the upside. Morgan Stanley also says that ARM’s semiconductor IP business model is the most robust in the European tech sector.

COBHAM
JP Morgan has upgraded the aerospace and defence group from underweight to “neutral” and increased its target price from 189p to 224p, after strong 2011 results led to a six to seven per cent upgrade in the broker’s earning expectations for 2012 and 2013. The debasing of the dividend per share to 8p makes a share buyback less likely, in the broker’s view, with management stating a clear preference for M&A.

RPS GROUP
Numis has downgraded the multidisciplinary consultancy from buy to “add” and raises its target price from 227p to 255p following a strong recent performance by the shares. Following final results slightly above expectations, the broker makes slight changes to its forecasts by lifting 2012 earnings per share by 1.5 per cent. The broker sees particularly positive momentum in energy, which now delivers more than half of group profits.