LONDON (SHARECAST) - UBS has cut its target price for commodities producer and marketer Glencore but has maintained its buy rating, saying it "still expects strong momentum into 2012".
The Swiss broker has reduced its earnings per share (EPS) forecasts for Glencore by 19% and 18% for 2011 and 2012 to reflect what it believes is a challenging environment for its Marketing divisions and lower expected volumes and higher costs in Industrial. As such the target price comes from 530p previously to 490p.
Nevertheless, UBS stays optimistic: "we see GLEN as the most dynamic company in EU mining over next three years (given management quality/entrepreneurship) and should be particularly well positioned relative to peers when the commodity cycle turns," the broker said.
Peel Hunt has maintained is hold rating on high street retailer WH Smith after Christmas trading was "in line with subdued like-for-like [LFL] expectations."
The company said total sales for the group were down 3% in the 21 weeks to January 21st, compared to the corresponding period a year earlier. LFL sales were down 5% in the first 21 weeks of the group's financial year, but that represents a slight improvement on the previously reported 6% dip in LFL sales for the first 10 weeks of the fiscal year.
The broker makes no changes to its forecasts following the statement and says that the stock - trading at 9.3 times prospective earnings - represents fair value. The target price is left at 525p.
Britvic's first quarter trading statement seems to have pleased investors today with shares trading around 2% higher in mid-morning trade; but two brokers seem divided with Nomura staying a buyer and Collins Stewart maintaining its sell rating.
Nomura says that GB revenues were slightly weaker than expected, while France was ahead and Ireland was broadly in line. International was pulled back by shipment timing.
The broker stays positive, saying that the stock's valuation - trading at 9.2 times 2012E earnings - is not demanding and the dividend yield of 5.6% looks attractive. A 425p target price is given.
Collins Stewart, however, reiterated its negative view on Britvic, saying that first quarter revenues were higher against "easy comparatives" and these will become tougher in the following three months (GB revenues up 6.8% in the second quarter last year). Collins Stewart's target price is set at 290p.