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Broker views: Insurance, textiles and oil

21 March 2017 15:10

Citigroup has downgraded its recommendation on insurance group esure (LON:ESUR) to neutral (from buy), which it says is given the strong performance year-to-date and the limited scope for outperformance of 2017 guidance.

"Still positive on growth but little scope to outperform - The company is targeting growth of 15%-20% for 2017e and we believe that it will be stretch to exceed the upper end of the range," Citi's James Oram said.

Target price stands at 235p per share.

Barclays Capital added textile service business Berendsen (LON:BRSN) to its list of stocks to avoid by downgrading to underweight, which it says is due to execution risk and a sizeable increase in planned capex spend.

The bank said: "With execution risk at elevated levels and questions over the merits of a meaningful step-up in growth capex, we move to Underweight (previously Equal Weight) and lower our PT to 700p (previously 911p)."

JP Morgan Cazenove reckons now would be a good time for investors to buy into Tullow Oil (LON:TLW), following the recent share price underperformance.

The City heavyweight highlighted that the stock has underperformed its peers by around 20 per cent since the beginning of the year, adding: "If you've been sitting on the fence, we think the current share price offers an attractive entry level to invest in a material and recapitalised bellwether of the European E&P sector."

JPM also reckons Tullow's recent rights issue allows it to "wrestle back control of its FCF [cashflow] from the banks and let its equity story take centre stage".

At 3:10pm:

(LON:BRSN) Berendsen Plc share price was -53.25p at 804.75p

(LON:ESUR) esure Group plc share price was -3.2p at 236.8p

(LON:TLW) Tullow Oil PLC share price was +5.85p at 203.35p

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