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Broker spotlight: Next, Vodafone, Takeovers, Barclays, IGas ...

Credit Suisse highlights possible takeover targets. Next, ASOS and SuperGroup head UK retail revolution and IGas deal earns plaudits.

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Huge takeover deals have been this year’s theme and analysts at Credit Suisse have trawled through global stock markets to find the next potential targets.

It’s a meaty list covering Europe, the US, Japan and Asia.

Sticking to UK–listed firms, there are some old chestnuts plus new possibilities with engineers, telcos and oil explorers likely to see the most activity said the Swiss broker.

Engineering consolidation has already started and Credit Suisse points to valve and seals specialists IMI (LON:IMI) and Rotork (LON:RTRK) as two potential targets.

ITV (LON:ITV) and  BSKYB ( LON;BSY) are perennials in the media sector, while Moneysupermarket (LON:MONY) and Perform (LON:PERF) may also attract interest.

Among oil explorers, Premier Oil (LON:PMO) and Enquest (LONE|NQ) have already attarcted suitors according to press reports while Credit Suisse sees onshore African explorers and Iraq-Kurdish based groups appealing to Middle East and Asian national oil companies.

Red-hot takeover favourite Vodafone (LON:VOD) also appears on the list, though rival broker Goldman Sachs today downgraded the telecoms giant because potential acquirers have been doing deals elsewhere.

Goldman rates Vodafone as ‘neutral’ from ‘buy’ as AT&T is said to be in advanced talks to acquire DirecTV, while Sprint’s owner Softbank is mulling an offer for T-Mobile USA.

Elsewhere, Jefferies believes there is not enough value in Barclays’ (LON:BARC) core business alone to justify a postive rating on the shares on thier own. 

But the new Non-Core business could be worth 60p per share and with that the shares worth a 'buy' though the target price falls to 325p from 345p.

Berenberg has analysed the clothing sector and concluded the leading UK players are at the forefront of the transition from in-store to online channels globally.

It rates ASOS (LON:ASC), Next (LON:NXT) and SuperGroup (LON:SGP) as 'buys' but Marks & Spencer (LON:MKS) is only a 'hold'.

Next has the longest history of consistent execution. It has first-mover advantage in multi-channel retail and is fully invested with capex of less than 3% sales in the next three years. 'Buy' with a target price of 7,740p is teh broker's view.

ASOS’s recent de-rating, meanwhile, makes a highly attractive entry point for a company that has signfincant further growth opportunities. The target price is 5,530p.

SuperGroup, meanwhile, has made the necessary investment in infrastructure to support long-term growth, while the brand is strong globally. Price target is 1,490p.

Berenberg has a price target of 415p for M&S (LON:MKS), which it is rated a 'hold' as is Debenhams (LON:DEB).

Away from its M&A speculation, Credit Suisse has downgraded mining colossus Anglo American (LON:AAL) to 'neutral' from 'outperform'.

Targeted cost savings and the potential to accelerate divestments are largely priced in and Anglo's underlying commodity momentum is weak, said CS.

Cantor Fitzgerald has started coverage of electronics group Acal (LON:ACL) suggesting the  group is poised for strong growth with earnings underpinned by organic initiatives, acquisitions and a cyclical recovery in its end markets. 'Buy' is the rating with a target price of 420p.

Westhouse has upgraded its recommendation on shale specialist IGas Energy (LON:IGAS) from 'Add' to 'Buy' and increased its target price to 174p from 150p following the agreed acquisition of Dart Energy.

"We think that the deal makes strategic sense, consolidating interests in acreage that TOTAL has farmed into and adding acreage that GDF has farmed into.

"The enlarged entity, with over 1m acres, has the scale to attract the interest of the oil majors, while we think that growing political support should ensure swifter progress on the ground."

Petrol pricing software specialsit Kalibrate’s (LON:KLBT) contract wins reflect the increasing demand its products, said N+1.

In Europe, Kalibrate has won two new customers: a Finnish retailer St1 Oy and a German oil group Tamoil. In the US, the owners of the Fas Mart convenience stores and Hess have both extended their contracts.

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