LONDON (SHARECAST) - Shares in part-nationalised lender Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) are trading at 0.6 times tangible net asset value (tNAV) and close to a new 17-month high, which has prompted broker Investec to downgrade its rating for the stock from 'hold' to 'sell'.
Investec forecasts another "jaw-dropping statutory loss" and a "bleak outlook for returns thereafter" when the company reports its third-quarter results on November 2nd. Specifically, the broker expects a pre-tax loss of £1.0bn and believes that return on equity (RoE) guidance will be 2% for 2013 and 4% for 2014.
Panmure Gordon has cut its recommendation for engineering group Weir from 'buy' to 'hold' ahead of the group's trading update in two weeks' time.
Analyst Oliver Wynne-James said that the current environment remains "challenging" for the firm: "the unconventional O&G storm still lingers (mix, pricing, reduced expenditures – see Q3 reports from customers such as Baker Hughes) and as the ever-deteriorating mining sector opex/capex storm begins. To an extent the company can rely on cost- cutting and on its more defensive aftermarket profile, but the risk-reward profile over the short term looks less appetising," he said.
Jefferies has cut its target price for Aggreko but maintained its 'buy' rating for the stock, saying that the negative surprises in the group's third-quarter trading update represent a 'speedbump, not a slowdown'.
"Whilst key risks remain macro slowdown, political risk, bad debt and FX, with the shares off 10% in the last month, we reiterate our 'buy' stance," the broker said.
UBS has cut its recommendation for pharmaceuticals group Hikma from 'neutral' to 'sell', saying that the market is pricing in a 'blue sky scenario'.
The broker said that it is hard to justify Hikma's valuation "as we believe that the market is pricing a blue sky scenario with the US Injectables supply issue continuing in 2013 and beyond, a strong EBIT [earnings before interest and tax] margin recovery in the Branded Generic division and a come back to 15-20% EBIT margin for the generic division.
"The likelihood of all of these happening appearing rather slim to us and setting Hikma up for disappointment."