BEST of the BROKERS

WILLIAM HILL
Numis rates the bookmaker as “reduce” with a 250p price target following its first-half results last week, saying it is hard to be positive on the firm without clarity on the ongoing talks with Playtech over William Hill Online. The broker has increased its full-year earnings before interest, tax and amortisation to £310m from £296m, against a consensus estimate of £304m.

INTERTEK
Seymour Pierce rates the global testing group as “reduce” with a target price of 2,500p, saying that although the firm’s interim results confirmed its “solid business model”, the shares are now overvalued following a steady outperformance over the last 12 months. The broker says Intertek is an attractive company with many qualities, but that this is already reflected in the share price.

AG BARR
N+1 Brewin has downgraded the drinks company from “add” to “hold” with its price target under review from 430p. Though the broker says it was “hugely encouraged” by first-half sales growth of 4.5 per cent, the full-year profit outlook is less rosy, with N+1 predicting a five per cent miss. The downgrade is largely due to this near-term forecast uncertainty, which is likely to have an impact on the group’s premium multiples.