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GlaxoSmithKline given a shot in the arm by Jefferies

Jefrey Holford, analyst, believes that the group's 4.9% dividend yield is becoming increasingly well covered..

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Glaxo is a global drugs firm

Drugs behemoth GlaxoSmithKline plc (LON:GSK) has been punted up to a 'buy' from 'hold' by US broker Jefferies, on the basis its dividends are becoming increasing well covered.

Clearly that's good news for investors, says Jefferies, which also lifts the target price to 2,000p from 1,600p.

Jefrey Holford, analyst, believes that the group's 4.9% dividend yield is becoming increasingly well covered as its earnings rise, helped by recent foreign exchange movements, a strong performance from ViiV- the healthcare business, and better than expected progress on margins.

"We believe that fears of a dividend cut associated with the appointment of a new CEO are overdone and that the macro environment (falling bond yields) could see the shares driven up to a 4% dividend yield. In addition, GSK is one of the least exposed companies to US drug pricing risk in the global Large Cap Pharma group," notes Jefferies.

The same broker today repeats an 'underperform' stance on temporary power giant Aggreko plc (LON:AGK), which is suffering, in the broker's view, as the market continues to be oversupplied while suffering from low demand.

The firm has a lot to do in the second half, which is even more skewed than 12 months ago when the broker highlighted the profitability uplift required to  achieve FY15 guidance

It does lift the target to 750p from 650p on valuation grounds, however.

A big  downgrade came from Goldman today on online fashion group ASOS (LON:ASOS), which was moved to 'neutral' from 'buy'.

Asos said it expected a full-year sales increase at the upper end of the 20%-25% range after a strong performance in the four months to June 30 but blamed a 180 basis-point fall in its retail gross margin partly on moving its main sale forward one week into this financial period.

The timing of the sale accounted for about 40% of the decline while the rest was due to cutting prices.

Challenger bank Shawbrook group  plc (LON:SHAW) is also in the line of sight of Citi, which positively moves to 'buy' from 'sell' on the shares, while peer Virgin Money (LON:VM.) is also moved to 'neutral' from 'sell'.

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