Investec has reiterated its ‘buy’ recommendation and 240p target price for UK banking group Barclays, but said it is disappointed with the news that Chief Executive Officer Bob Diamond has resigned.
‘We are disappointed by Bob’s resignation this morning. That said, it is undeniable that the unrelenting political/media campaign had centred on Bob personally, and this was leading to a persistent misrepresentation of Barclays’ position in relation to the multi-bank LIBOR investigations, and a clear distraction from the execution of Barclays’ strategic repositioning,’ said analyst Ian Gordon.
The broker says that, given Diamond’s departure, it expects the pressure on Barclays to ease slightly due to the increased recognition that the LIBOR investigation is a multi-bank issue ‘rather than Barclays-specific’. ‘We expect Barclays’s sharp share price underperformance to reverse as the market takes a more dispassionate look at the facts.’
Credit Suisse has downgraded its rating for hedge fund manager Man Group from ‘outperform’ to ‘neutral’ and slashed its target price from 130p to just 88p, saying that the market environment remains ‘tough’.
‘We believe Man Group’s diverse product suite and strong distribution platform offer medium-term opportunities. However in the near term, we believe market conditions are not conducive for significant asset growth and weakness in AHL pushes out further the timing for material performance fees and new fund launches,’ the broker said.
Nomura has slashed its target price for FTSE 250 west Africa-focused gold miner Avocet Mining by nearly a half following the recent production downgrade and news of delayed project expansion.
‘After a positive commissioning phase in which nearly all production and cost targets were met, the Inata mine is now going through significant teething problems.’ As such, the broker has reduced its full-year production estimates by 15% to 131k ounces of gold and increased its cash cost estimates by 25% to $1,081 per ounce.
Nomura said: ‘Due to the collapse in margins and the increasing impact of hedged ounces, our earnings per share (EPS) forecasts fall by 64% to 6.6 cents.’ Next year’s EPS forecast is cut by 16% to 15.7 cents. As such, the target price comes down to 120p, form 220p previously. A ‘neutral’ rating is kept.