Best of the Brokers

Jefferies upgraded the world’s biggest advertising group from a “hold” to a “buy” yesterday, saying that the outlook for 2013 is encouraging, even in a cyclically poor year. “With expectations low, we see upside risk,” the bank said, adding that after a period of acquisitions in 2012, WPP is more likely to use cash to pay higher dividends this year. Jefferies upped its target price from 800p to 1,150p yesterday.

Charles Stanley keeps its “accumulate” rating on the property firm following a reassuring third quarter update this week. Despite economic headwinds, British Land has maintained its occupancy rate at an impressive 97.7 per cent, the broker notes, and says that the firm has positioned itself well as a defensive play as well as a real estate growth pick.

Nomura has a “buy” rating on the data firm and a target price of 1,215p following an investor day. The broker thinks Experian is deliberately pursuing growth rather than margin expansion, which it believes is “probably to the long-term benefit of the business”. Expansion into new markets and new products will help the firm rebalance away from its reliance on banks, Nomura adds.