BEST of the BROKERS

F&C ASSET MANAGEMENT
Singer Capital Markets rates the asset manager “buy” with a target price of 110p. The broker has cut its earnings estimates by four per cent for the next year to reflect weakness in the euro, as 40 per cent of its net revenue is euro denominated. However, Singer is confident the firm will find further cost savings, and thinks F&C’s share price undervalues the company.

DIAGEO
Investec rates the drinks group “buy” with a target price of £19 ahead of the firm’s preliminary results on 23 August. The broker has lowered its forecasts by one per cent to account for currency movements, but is still expecting to see double-digit earnings growth this year. Overall, Investec sees the firm as well-positioned to weather the global slowdown.

PLAYTECH
Numis rates the gaming software firm “sell” with a 150p target price, after quarterly results yesterday. Despite a forecast-beating set of figures from Playtech, including an 82 per cent rise in gross income to €88.1m, the broker remains concerned about the number and direction of recent strategy changes at the firm. Numis thinks it will keep its cautious stance until there is news of Playtech’s stake in William Hill Online.