LONDON (SHARECAST) - Investec has downgraded its rating for defence giant BAE Systems from 'hold' to 'sell' after yesterday's revelation that the group is in discussions with EADS about a possible merger.
The broker has raised its target price from 290p to 350p, 4% below the yesterday's share price. "This is not quite the 'over 10%' downside we require to drive a 'sell' recommendation. However, we chose in this case to take a negative stance given the likely protracted timeframe to completion and general political and execution risks associated with such a large deal. Investors not prepared to wait for the long-term synergies should cash in."
Seymour Pierce has reiterated its 'hold' rating for High Street giant Next despite a decent first half, as the company's guidance going into the second half of the year disappointed.
Seymour analyst Kate Calvert said: "On outlook management has stated that ‘if the economy had a weather forecast the outlook would be overcast – patchy rain for the foreseeable’ and in terms of its strategy, it reads a bit like a political manifesto, but it is more of the same as we expect from Next.
"It is a highly cash generative, tightly run company and looks to continue to execute on the basics of giving the consumer great product and capitalising on its leading multi-channel position. The shares are trading virtually at an all time high so we would expect profit taking today."
Full-year expectations at Sir Martin Sorrell's media and advertising giant WPP Group are achievable, according to Jefferies which has upgraded its recommendation for the stock from 'underperform' to 'hold' and aised tis target price for the shares from 680p to 800p.
Following weak organic growth in the second quarter and a lowering of full-year guidance, the broker says that consensus forecasts are now moving to more reasonable levels. WPP is now guiding to a deceleration in the second half rather than an acceleration.