viewLadbrokes Coral Group PLC

Jefferies doubts Ladbrokes can enhance online growth

Ladbrokes, Zoopla, Ashmore, Jupiter and G4S are in the broker spotlight on Thursday

Ladbrokes has two possible rolls of the dice, but Jefferies warns of 'execution risk'

Jefferies says UK bookmaker Ladbrokes (LON:LAD) has two possible options to change the fortunes of its ailing online business, though analyst Ian Rennardson says both are fraught with ‘execution risk’.

Rennardson, who today downgrades Labrokes to ‘underperform’ from ‘hold’, says either the proposed deal with Coral completes or the group sticks with the growth plans of new chief executive Jim Mullen.

“We think neither option presents a viable route to above market online growth and believe both strategies are fraught with execution risk, though we have preference for the merger given Coral’s recent outperformance and stronger technology offering,” the analyst said.

Jefferies sets a new 90p price target, down from 90p.

Both Berenberg and Nomura repeated ‘buy’ recommendations for UK property website Zoopla (LON:ZPLA), whilst upgrading price targets to 305p from 260p and 300p from 285p respectively.

Emerging markets focussed fund manager Ashmore (LON:ASHM) advanced around 5% to 265p after Citigroup upgraded the share to a ‘buy’ from ‘neutral’.

Jupiter Fund Management (LON:JUP) is downgraded by Citigroup to ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’.

Goldman Sachs downgraded security contractor G4S (LON:GFS) to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’ while the American bank’s price target dropped to 260p from 300p.

Rame Energy (LON:RAME) can become a  leading developer of power projects in Chile and can bring 140Mw of gross capacity into operation over the next three years.

Contractual opportunities give Rame an option to increase its economic exposure and the broker has initiated coverage with a buy recommendation and 24p target price.

Broker Numis reckons traders should 'add' Wolf Minerals (LON:WLFE) shares to the portfolio as the tungsten miner ramps up at its Drakelands mine in Devon, UK to deliver first production to customers in September.

Numis says everything appears to be "well on track" and first revenues are expected to come shortly afterwards. It targets 23p for the shares, which are currently changing hands for 15.25p.

Investec increased its price target 20p a share to 420p on defence company Cohort (LON:CHRT) following the award of an £11.2mln contract from the MoD for hearing protection products.

Quick facts: Ladbrokes Coral Group PLC

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