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Broker spotlight - Standard Chartered, Quindell, TSB and Randgold Resources

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Despite the buildup and speculation, Standard Chartered's (LON:STAN) first half numbers had no 'knock out' factor to sway the bulls or the bears one way or the other, reckons broker heavyweight Deutsche on Thursday.

It says the Asia focused bank beat the broker's already significantly downgraded estimates by 3%.

The firm's profit were 20% lower than a year earlier, in line with the bank's previous guidance, due to the poor financial markets busin ess.

Deutsche analyst Jason Napier said: "We think that getting bears to switch sides requires greater confidence on (i)  revenue momentum, (ii) credit quality, and (iii) net capital generation while growing the book. "

"Management reiterated a commitment to be tough on costs – though we think the task of offsetting regulatory requirements and natural wage inflation in the key markets is a difficult one."

It rates Standard shares as a 'hold' and its target price moves to 1190p from 1160p.

In other coverage, JP Morgan Cazenove has started coverage on June banking float TSB (LON:TSB) with a price target of 315p and a 'neutral' rating. The shares currently are changing hands at 288p.

The list price in June was confirmed at 260p per share, and JP morgan says it believes the market is right in valuing the firm at a premium.

"In our view, TSB's growth is likely to pick up gradually from 2015 and will continue beyond 2018, given its capabilities, funding and excess capital," said analyst Raul Sinha.

"Over the long term, if the group succeeds in its strategy, it could more than double its deposit and asset base from 2013 levels in our view."

Technology firm Quindell (LON:QPP) was the subject of a note from Cenkos, which rates the shares a 'buy' ahead of interim results laetr this month.

Yesterday, the firm's  trading update was welcomed by the market  as it revealed operating cash flow turned positive last month (July).

The group is on track for full year 2014 profit and cash flow guidance 

Cenkos said:  "The shares, trading on a P/E of 2x, continue to discount balance sheet risk rather than any fundamental value across the group’s two divisions. Results in a couple of weeks will provide another opportunity for management to outline their visibility on H2 cash collection which should help support a short-term re-rating."

Big cap miners were in focus today and Randgold Resources (LON:RRS) put out half year results, which revealed a 19% decline in output at the Kibali gold mine in DRC in the second quarter compared to the first.

Overall, the group's production for Q2 was 277,283 ounces, bringing H1 production to 561,046, in-line with the lower end of the guided range for full year 2014.

Rob Broke at Westhouse said: "Overall Q2 was marginally disappointing, but we expect H2 to be stronger, with increased production at Tongon and Kibali helping to support the strong operational performance being delivered at Loulo-Gounkoto. 

"We will be reviewing our Add recommendation and 5,000p target price on the back of these results."

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