BEST of the BROKERS

RESOLUTION
UBS has upgraded the life insurance group from “hold” to “buy” on valuation grounds, and lowers its target price on the company to 240p from 250p. The broker says Resolution’s business model of UK life consolidation makes strategic sense in a shrinking market, and sees the company as increasingly attractive for risk-averse investors, as it is a non-bank financial stock with minimal exposure to the euro.

SODEXO
JP Morgan has initiated coverage of the contract catering company with a “neutral” recommendation and a target price of €60 (£48.39). The broker says that as the firm is the second-largest operator in both its voucher and food services fields, it has an appealing “catch-up” status in relation to its peers. JP Morgan sees the current valuation as fair given limited visibility on the delivery of targeted margin expansion.

SPIRIT PUB COMPANY
Deutsche Bank has upgraded the managed pubs firm from “sell” to “hold” and increased its target price from 42p to 45p. The broker sees the performance of the company’s lease estate as highlighting the brake that this division is putting on the performance of its retail business, but says that most of the bad news is already reflected in the share price.