Best of the Brokers

Numis rates the media group “add” with a target price of 865p ahead of first quarter results due on 1 November. The broker expects to see strong subscription growth following a summer of sport, though earnings growth is likely to be muted at around one per cent, after the firm bought a string of new programmes. The threat from rival TV provider YouView has been overstated, Numis adds.

Peel Hunt has a “sell” rating on the recruitment firm and a target price of 65p. The broker thinks increasingly tough global conditions will weigh on Hays when it updates the market tomorrow, with a slowdown in Australia and parts of Europe likely. Peel Hunt warns it might cut its annual profit forecasts further later in the year, and believes its numbers for 2014 and 2015 might still be too high.

Shore Capital rates the supermarket giant “reduce” and has cut its price target from 310p to 290p following last week’s first-half results. Shore is disappointed by the figures, and has cut its 2013 and 2014 pre-tax profit forecasts by eight and 14 per cent respectively. “There is no visibility on where UK profitability will bottom and whether management actions will work in the medium term,” the broker adds.