Date: Friday 22 Jun 2012
Credit Suisse has downgraded its recommendation for recruitment firm Michael Page International from 'neutral' to 'underperform', saying that on a risk-reward basis, the stock is the 'most vulnerable of the employment agencies given weakening economic conditions'.
"While the medium term outlook for the professional recruitment market remains attractive we think that current cyclical weakness will dominate the share price in the near term."
Credit Suisse has slashed its target price for the stock from 385p to 355p.
Peel Hunt has hiked its target price for pubs group Greene King from 561p to 617p and reiterated its 'buy' rating, saying that the stock still has some upside despite the recent strong performance ahead of its full-year results.
"Retail like-for-like (LFL) sales over-performed the sector average and are strong by any standards, at +4.5% in the final difficult quarter, or +4.6% for the year to date.
"While the final two weeks will be lower against the tough Royal Wedding comparative, which may reduce Q4 as low as +2% LFL, this is an excellent result in a tough year, and certainly well ahead of the 2-3% growth required to offset inflationary input pressure," Hickman said.
Merchant Securities was adding to the downward pressure on Max Petroleum's share price on Friday morning after cutting its recommendation on the stock to 'sell'.
Merchant analyst Brendan Long said that the broker plans to cut its target price later in the day to reflect "the increased risk for the NUR-1 well, heightened financial risk, reduced availability of capital for development funding and lower crude oil prices.
"In the immediate term we suggest selling out of the stock. The financial leverage of the company will magnify its operational challenges," Long said.
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