BEST of the BROKERS

BRAMMER
Espirito Santo has upgraded the support services firm from “sell” to “neutral” with a target price of 268p, saying that although risks remain, there are improved rewards associated. The broker has downgraded its 2012 earnings per share forecast by eight per cent and fair value by 11 per cent, but says the firm has a dividend yield that is starting to look attractive and the prospect of substantial market share gains.

WEIR GROUP
Berenberg Bank rates the engineering giant as a “buy” and has reduced its target price to 2,3850p from 2,585p after concluding from the company’s capital markets day that cuts to its consensus estimates are overdone. The broker has revised its model to reflect weakness in the oil and gas division, which is offset by strength in minerals. It continues to expect earnings per share of 157p for 2012.

INTERMEDIATE CAPITAL GROUP
Deutsche Bank has initiated coverage of the specialist debt investor with a “buy” rating and a target price of 320p, saying that the firm is well positioned for longer-term growth as UK and European banks continue to de-lever their balance sheets, while the resulting mismatch between the supply and the demand for credit should provide opportunities for ICG in both mezzanine and senior debt.