Broker tips: UK banks, GKN, Kingfisher
Nomura has upgraded banking giants HSBC and Barclays to buy, but downgraded Lloyds to neutral, after assessing the Independent Commission on Banking (ICB) report and Eurozone risks.
“In our view, [HSBC’s] relative performance will depend on risk appetite and in particular sentiment towards official action on the Eurozone and banking sector issues. However, we now regard the shares as attractive in absolute terms.” A 725 price target is maintained.
“Barclays is […] the UK group which is most exposed if the European crisis were to spiral out of control. However, even making what we regard as relatively conservative assumptions, we believe losses would be unlikely to exceed 40p per share [...] Despite the strategic problems the group faces and the likely absence of genuinely positive catalysts, we regard the shares as undervalued at 40% of tangible book value (TBV).” The broker’s target price stays at 268p, based on 80% of TBV.
However, as Lloyds is principally a traditional domestic UK banking group, the broker notes that a mixture of an economic slowdown, funding market weakness and restructuring “makes short-term earnings projections highly uncertain”, causing downgrades to forecasts. The target price is cut from 50p to 40p.
Blue chip automotive and aerospace engineer GKN was helped higher on Thursday as the Frankfurt auto show motors on, with Evolution Securities labelling the stock as “cheap”.
“Our assessment of the mood out of this week’s Frankfurt auto show is one of resilience with growth in global auto production still a sensible planning assumption,” said analyst Harry Philips.
Evolution says GKN is trading on 6.8 times forward earnings and an enterprise value-to-sales ratio of 0.46, and with its earnings before interest and tax margin forecast to be 9%, it provides a “real opportunity”.
A buy rating and 330p target price are retained.
With Kingfisher’s shares having come a long way down since their 52-week high of 287.1p in May, Prime Markets has upgraded the stock from sell to buy, saying that any negativity should now be factored in.
On 2 June, the broker labelled the stock as a sell at 282p (with a target price of 248p) due to the share price climb after the full-year results in March and an uncertain outlook. Since then, shares have tumbled below 200p intraday at one point.
“Coupled with the solid profits delivered over the summer and continued investment in jobs and international expansion, Prime Markets now takes the view that the worst case scenario is in the price and that Kingfisher shares should now be given the benefit of any macro-economic doubts,” said head of dealing Richard Curr.
The target price is moved up to 267p.