BEST of the BROKERS

HIKMA
UBS has upgraded the pharma group from “neutral” to “buy” with a target price of 755p, saying that a recent fall in the share price seems to already reflect expected changes to 2012-13 consensus. The broker still sees downside risk of 10 per cent and six per cent for 2012/13 respectively, but sees the 15 per cent fall in share price since the 2011 full-year results as an attractive entry point. UBS also said further acquisitions – particularly in Egypt – would be well received by investors.

LOGICA
Investec has upgraded the IT group from “sell” to “hold” with a target price of 84p, citing better sentiment towards the company’s near and longer term profit prospects for the change. Though the broker remains concerned about raised expectations of a margin snap back in 2012-13, it says that to recommend a sell rating at the current valuation would imply it expected a near-term warning. Investec expects the first quarter update to be uninspiring, but not catastrophic.

INFORMA
Citi continues to flag the media and publishing company as its top pick for the year as well as one of its most preferred stock on a three-month view. It rates the company as a “buy” with a target price of 530p – raised from 505p due to scope for Informa to trade at a premium to its closest peers. The broker says the perception of Informa as a poor allocator of capital is worse than reality, and thinks that the asset mix and balance sheet strength could lead to a re-rating of the stock versus rival UBM.