Best of the brokers

UBS has slashed its rating on the electrical goods retailer – formerly known as Kesa – from “buy” to “neutral”, citing an increasingly competitive French electricals market. “Darty requires an improvement in French profits above and beyond the cost savings we have factored in,” the bank says, despite increasing the target price on the stock from a previous 60p, to 65p.

Panmure Gordon becomes the latest broker to cast its eye over software firm Aveva, citing a “tepid amelioration” in the macro outlook and the company’s new product – named E3D – and “improving sentiment to China.” It concludes: “In time E3D sales could translate gushing comment into a snip of an upgrade, maybe as early as quarter four. Until then a ‘hold’ feels about right.” Panmure gives a target price of 1,900p.

The stationery retailer, which reported strong margins in an update this week, has had its target price upgraded to 725p by Numis, which maintains its “add” rating on the stock. “There is little the company can do to reverse the effect of lower high street footfall on its like-for-likes, but the detailed strategy package and policy of retiring equity continues to deliver earnings per share growth of more than 10 per cent,” it said.