Best of the brokers

Investec upgraded the bank yesterday on the back of new investment bank job cuts. Although the market knew some staff were being trimmed, the scale took the analysts by surprise. “Consensus still appears to underestimate the material benefit that will flow through the Barcap cost line as headcount and pay are rebased to the benefit of the shareholder. “Buy,” wrote Ian Gordon, revising its target price to 320p.

Cannacord upgrades Faroe Petroleum to “buy” from “hold” and raises its target price to 190p per share from 170p. Says that it expects Faroe’s remaining five significant exploration wells to provide solid cashflow and that help to offer a “convincing investment case” for Faroe. Cannacord also believes that Faroe’s programme for this year looks “strong”, particularly towards the second half.

UBS has cut its target price for precious metals miner Fresnillo from 2,100p to 2,000p and kept its “neutral” rating on the stock following a mixed fourth-quarter production report yesterday. Going forward, UBS said that the construction of a leaching plant at Herradura – which remains on track for the third quarter – should increase annual gold production, along with the construction of the San Julian mine.