Best of the Brokers

HEINEKEN
UBS has cut its rating on the drinks firm from “neutral” to “sell” and hiked its target price from €43.50 to €50. The broker expects Heineken’s results for 2012 to be in line with forecasts, but that the firm will be more cautious about the coming year as the European consumer outlook deteriorates. UBS cannot see catalysts for further share price rises after a spell of strong performance.

MICRO FOCUS INTERNATIONAL
N+1 Singer has lowered its rating on the software maker from “buy” to “hold” while raising its target by 10p to 655p. The broker is taking a pause for breath following a share price rise of almost 50 per cent in the last year, and is looking for organic top line growth to reappear. In the mean time, Singer sees earnings growth from bolt-on acquisitions.

SMITH & NEPHEW
Jefferies rates the medical products company a “buy” and has raised its target from 740p to 800p following fourth quarter results last week. The analyst reckons 2013 will be a year of transition for Smith & Nephew, but that the long-term opportunity remains compelling. A strong balance sheet also leaves room to return cash to shareholders, Jefferies adds.