Analysts at Goldman Sachs have initiated coverage on Rentokil with a ‘buy’ rating and a 12-month price target of 400p, saying they see a 16-24% equity IRR (internal rate of return) over the next four years.
READ: Rentokil Initial reports solid growth in third-quarter revenue boosted by its pest control unit
In a note to clients, the US banking giant’s analysts said: “While Rentokil has rerated in recent years, we believe this is justified by its improved mix (more high-growth pest control business) and successful M&A track record.”
But fellow US bank Jefferies International is less bullish, with its analysts starting coverage of the FTSE 100 listed firm with a ‘hold’ rating and 335p price target.
They noted: “Rentokil's stock has rallied c. 415% since 2012; however, we believe that a tighter balance sheet, rising M&A valuations, and opaque margin progression warrant a pause in the rally.”
The Jefferies analysts added: “We forecast Rentokil will grow revenues within its 5%–8% guidance range in FY18, with no apparent catalyst for multiple expansion.”
In late morning trading, Goldman’s view seemed to hold sway, with Rentokil shares up 1.4%, or 4.4p at 319.5p.