Broker tips: Prudential, MJ Gleeson
Analysts at JP Morgan raised their target price from insurance firm Prudential from £13.80 per share to £14.50 on Friday to reflect foreign exchange movements and a roll-forward of its valuation.
JP Morgan stated that given the arrival of Prudential’s chief executive-elect, Anil Wadhwani, in February 2023, it had taken some time to consider key investor debates on the financial and strategic priorities for the group.
In JPM's view, a new CEO provides an "opportunity" to address a number of debates, which it feels will be "positive" for the stock.
"It may take time for the new CEO to define a new strategic vision, but investor feedback suggests that there are key topics to address as priorities," said the analysts, who stood by their 'overweight' rating on the stock.
"We are raising our Feb-24 target price to £14.50 (from £13.80), reflecting FX movements and a roll-forward of our valuation. In our view, at ~0.7x 2022E EV, Prudential trades at a deep discount to its fundamental value and nearest peer, AIA Group (on ~1.5x), reflecting investor concern over growth, capital and other frictional factors."
Analysts at Berenberg raised their target price on construction firm MJ Gleeson from 680.0p to 710.0p on Friday, stating the group was "well positioned" for the new trading year following its 2022 full-year results.
Berenberg noted that MJ Gleeson's full-year earnings, which included a roughly 7% beat to consensus pre-tax profits estimates, saw management report a demand profile which remained "resilient" in the face of rising macroeconomic pressures and also guided to profitable growth through FY 2023.
The German bank stated that given its exposure to the "under-supplied low-average selling price niche of the UK housing market", as well as its pricing power versus peers, it believes MJ Gleeson to be "well positioned" going into what its analysts forecast to be "a tougher operating period" for housebuilders through 2023.
Berenberg also highlighted that Graham Prothero, currently chief operating officer of Vistry, will join the MJ Gleeson board as chief executive from January 2023.
"Given his experience with both Galliford Try and Vistry, with its exposure to partnership-style housebuilding, his appointment appears sound. If the group releases new strategic objectives upon his arrival, we would view this as a positive catalyst for the shares," said the analysts, who stood by their 'buy' rating on the stock.