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Citi downgrades Halfords as it 'gets ahead of itself'

A Halfords employee works under the bonnet
Halfords was downgraded by Citi, which said it was driving with no brakes’

Halfords Group PLC (LON:HFD)  is ‘driving with no brakes’, according to Citigroup, which this morning downgraded the motor parts and bike retailer after results.

The stock, up 25% in the year to date, is getting ahead of itself,  say analysts at the US bank, particularly given the rather uncertain outlook for the UK economy.

The stock was moved to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ with a price target of 430p a share.

Citi was the most active of the brokers early on as it also took the knife to Woleseley PLC (LON:WOS), the builders’ merchant.

It has pegged back its recommendation to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’, while shaving its valuation down to £41.50.

MoneySupermarket.Com Group PLC (LON:MONY), meanwhile, was on the receiving end of a Jefferies downgrade to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’. The broker also cut its price target to 312p from 440p.

This followed the latest industry data which revealed the company’s popular price comparison site ‘is no longer leading the pack’ despite some fairly aggressive TV advertising of late.

Rightmove PLC (LON:RMV), by contrast, is an online phenomenon that has retained its edge. At least that’s the conclusion of the analysts at Liberum after meeting management of the property portal.

It said the emergence of OnTheMarket, an industry owned rival, has had no discernable impact on Rightmove and specifically its pricing power.

Liberum rates the stock a ‘buy’ all the way up to £50 a share.

The supermarkets were under the microscope at Deutsche Bank after the release of monthly industry sales data, which prompted a minor downgrade to Sainsbury.

Deutsche has pegged back its price target to 310p from 325p (and lowered its sales projections), but remains a ‘buyer’ of the stock.

It remains on the fence with its Tesco (LON:TSCO) rating, but is a seller of Morrisons (LON:MRW).

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