Best of the Brokers

Morgan Stanley rates the travel group “overweight” and has raised its target price from 60p to 100p after last week’s update. The broker has greater confidence that the firm can turn itself around, based on better than expected cost savings and some signs of growth in the Nordic and German markets. The success of rival Tui Travel also points to the possibilities open to Thomas Cook, Morgan Stanley adds.

Canaccord Genuity rates the insurer “buy” and has hiked its target from 205p to 225p in light of strong results last Thursday. The broker expects Beazley to outperform its peers this year, thanks to its large US business and a marine franchise that has avoided losses from the Costa Concordia sinking and most of the Hurricane Sandy damage.

Investec has cut the tobacco firm from “buy” to “hold” and lowered its target from £25.80 to £24.50. With Imperial already boasting some of the best margins in the industry, the broker is sceptical about its plan to trim costs. Investec has decided to lower its rating after a weak first quarter update, which was barely better than last year’s gloomy figures.