Best of the Brokers

Nomura has upped Pearson’s target price to 1,250p from 1,200p, while maintaining its “reduce” rating after the publisher said yesterday it is to purchase Embanet Compass for £406m.

Numis has moved Direct Line from “buy” to “add” to reflect reduced upside following the eight per cent price uplift since its flotation last week. It has maintained its target price of 215p.

Seymour Pierce has raised its target price to 400p from 350p and retained its “buy” recommendation after US rival United Rentals posted strong results, boding well for Ashtead.