Best of the brokers

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HOMESERVE
Investment bank Espirito Santo yesterday downgraded Homeserve from “buy” to “sell” due to lower policy sales predicted by analysts. The note said it had become “increasingly clear to us that HomeServe’s new marketing is much less effective than we had hoped”. The bank cut its fair value price from 288p to 210p after it predicted the firm’s business would decline over the next four years.

IMPERIAL TOBACCO GROUP
Broker Panmure Gordon has a “buy” rating on the stock with a target price of 2,900p after analysts were given further guidance at an investor day held by the company. Panmure predicted “strong shareholder returns” after Imperial told analysts it would simplify its brand portfolio to try and make cost savings of about £300m a year by the end of September 2018.

NCONDEZI COAL COMPANY
Broker finnCap has initiated coverage of Ncondezi Coal with a target price of 63.5p, citing the company’s forthcoming exposure to the energy market in Mozambique on the back of the firm’s initiative to construct a coal mine and power station there. The stock has fallen over the past two years due to a plunge in the coal price but the broker sees upside once contractual agreements over the mine are reached.