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Brokers: JD Sports' results backed by Investec

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JD Sports was upgraded by Investec

An unexpected trading update from JD Sport s (LON:JD) received the backing of Investec.

The firm said it would beat like-for-like sales expectations by some 10%, while pre-tax profit is likely to beat forecasts of around £125mln by £10mln, or 5.5%.

“Management reports that relatively strong trading has continued into second half from the strong first half reported,” Investec said.

The broker upped its target price on the stock to 1,100p from 1,040p and reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation.

Elsewhere, JP Morgan Cazenove reckons margins should improve at software specialist Sage Group (LON:SGE).

The broker said its “new product and enhanced marketing efforts” should accelerate mid-term growth.

It upgraded Sage’s shares to ‘overweight’ from ‘neutral’ and upped its target price to 670p from 500p.

Also upgraded was WS Atkins (LON:ATK), this time by Jefferies, which has said its recent acquisition of PP&T looks “eminently sensible to us”.

The broker retained its ‘hold’ stance but nudged up its target price to 1,630p from 1,620p.

Sticking with Jefferies, the broker also likes the look of Greene King (LON:GNK), which it said provide a “welcome respite from the sector pall”.

It bumped up its full year earnings per share forecast to 5% from 3%, and topped up its target price to 940p from 840p.

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