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Brokers: BAE Systems knocked by downgrade

Small caps received the backing of brokers today as there were no upgrades for any major firms

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Turning down according to Berenberg

Cantor Fitzgerald has reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation for Hummingbird Resources PLC (LON:HUM), as well as repeating its target price of 230p for the gold miner.

Cantor said that Hummingbird’s recent fundraise of £49.5mln has “significantly de-risked the company’s Yanfolila gold project in Mali.”

Although the broker notes that more cash will be needed to fully cover the initial capex, the money already raised allows the firm’s “operational team and contractors to move on decisively with detailed engineering studies, equipment ordering and initial construction.”

Cantor has also reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation for fellow small cap Flowgroup PLC (LON:FLOW) and repeated its target price of 19p.

The broker noted that the energy supplier continues to shows “progress in energy supply with customer accounts now at 214,000, up from 200,000 at the end of May.”

It also highlighted that potential interest is also strong, with 10,000 possible customers in its sales pipeline.

Elsewhere in the small caps, Savannah resources has recently announced that it has been granted reservation permits for two lithium projects in Finland.

Broker Northland Capital says the fact that there were no delays in obtaining these permits was “positive”, allowing Savannah to carry out initial exploration work.

Brokers weren’t quite so upbeat about the bigger players today.

Defence firm BAE Systems PLC (LON:BAE) was downgraded from a ‘buy’ rating to a ‘hold’ rating by Berenberg, with the German bank also moving its target price down 50p to 520p.

Berenberg thinks there could be a delay in the production phase of Type 26 Combat Ship which the firm is currently developing.

The bank also noted that Brexit would have little impact on BAE because less than 10% of its sales are generated within the EU.

The same bank repeated its ‘hold’ recommendation for specialty chemicals firm Elementis PLC (LON:ELM), although it slashed its share price target nearly 10% to 200p from 220p.

Berenberg claims that the “doomsday” scenario it outlined for chromium in April appears to be playing out.

It believes that “chromium margins will remain depressed for the foreseeable future” which is obviously bad news for Elementis.

Deutsche Bank repeated its ‘hold’ rating for high street retailer Debenhams PLC (LON:DEB) but slightly lowered its price forecast to 80p from its previous target of 85p.

The bank said that a slowdown in UK trading “was not unexpected but more significant than we had modelled.”

It acknowledged that the department store chain continues to make progress with its strategic goals but believes there are challenges and risks in the market, particularly if Marks & Spencer Group PLC (LON:MKS) lead a mid-market revival.

Elsewhere, Cannacord Genuity has downgraded RSA Insurance Group PLC (LON:RSA) from a ‘buy’ recommendation to ‘hold.

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