BEST of the BROKERS

EDF
Exane BNP Paribas has raised its rating on the energy group from “neutral” to “outperform” with a higher target price of €22. The broker thinks that now French elections are over, the new government will be careful not to worsen EDF’s financial position, ensuring a stable dividend and less risk of a sudden regulatory change knocking the firm off course.

REMY COINTREAU
JP Morgan has raised its target price on the drinks firm from €69 to €76 and maintains a “neutral “ rating. The broker expects a slower sales growth over the next two years, moving to the low single digits as demand in China levels off. However, JP Morgan still expects to see significantly higher margins and some 20 per cent earnings growth, though it believes this is already reflected in the share price.

EDC
UBS has raised its rating on Russian drilling services firm from “neutral” to “buy” with a lower target price of $32. The broker has cut its earnings forecasts for EDC for the year by eight per cent, as the rouble’s climb against the dollar erodes its profits. But UBS is upbeat about the firm’s growth prospects, expecting a 15 per cent rise in drilling distance this year.