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  • Barclays and JP Morgan Cazenove reiterate Whitbread ‘Overweight’ rating
  • Nominated advisor and broker SP Angel has a ‘strong buy’ for Union Jack Oil
  • SP Angel has a ‘buy’ rating for Anglo Asian Mining
  • Barclays and Goldman Sachs cut JD Sports price target
  • Mixed outlook for Unilever

Whitbread (LON: WTB) is seeing a strong recovery across all parts of its hotel and restaurants business after the restrictions of last year, with full-year revenue beating market expectations. The overall broker consensus for the stock is positive: for example, Barclays and JP Morgan Cazenove have reiterated an ‘overweight’ rating; Deutsche rates the stock a ‘buy’, with a target price of 3,800p and Shore Capital also has a ‘buy’. The close price yesterday was 2,656p, a YTD return of -13.72% and a 1-year return of -16.21%.

Union Jack Oil (LON: UJO) reported sales of £1.9m and a cash balance of £6m at year-end in its FY21 results on Monday. As of last week, UJO has sales of £2.9m YTD, is debt free and has £7.5m near-term cash equivalents, enough to fund operations for the next 12 months. Nominated advisor and broker SP Angel has a ‘strong buy’ on the stock: “In our view, production and cash flows from the Wressle field have significantly transformed the company over the last 12 months. Investors can now look forward to a busy period of planned drilling and development activity over the next 12 months that has the potential to unlock significant valuation upside for investors.” At close of trading yesterday, UJO shares were worth 28p, a robust return of 94.50% YTD and -21.14% over 12 months.

The Anglo Asian Mining (LON: AAZ) annual results indicate weaker production on the back of lower processed grades as well as cost inflation leading to a fall in earnings, according to SP Angel, which acts as nomad and broker to the company. The miner is well capitalised to deliver on exploration and development plans, with about $37m in the bank, looking forward to the ratification of three new licenses, expanding its copper exposure and maintaining its record of a reliable dividend payer. SP Angel has a ‘buy’ rating on the stock, which at close of trading yesterday was worth 85p, a return of -26.96% YTD, and -43.53% over 12 months.

JD Sports (LON: JD) sounded upbeat, after announcing a 5% increase in sales year-on-year thanks to the “strength and breadth” of its market offerings. However, there’s no hiding from the macroeconomic and geopolitical challenges, which will form strong headwinds for a while yet. Brokers moved to cut their target prices on Monday: RBC lowered its price target to 210p (250p) with an ‘outperform’ rating; Barclays dropped its price target to 195p (240p), keeping its ‘overweight’ rating; and Goldman Sachs slashed its price target to 195p (265p), while retaining the ‘buy’ rating. Shares closed yesterday at 131.85p, a return of -39.46% YTD and -26.37% over 12 months.

Broker sentiment on consumer goods giant Unilever (LON: ULVR) is divided. As a ‘first mover’ over pricing actions, the group has to pass on cost inflation to its customers, dampening sales and margin; growth this year is expected to be sluggish despite a programme of targeted investments and cost-cutting. Its recent failed bid for GlaxoSmithKline has triggered calls for the group to be broken up. SocGen cut Unilever to ‘sell’ (buy), with a price target of 3,400p (4,300p), JP Morgan Cazenove last week put an ‘underweight’ rating on the stock. Berenberg, however, noted management optimism – and perhaps the stock’s more than 10% gain since 7 March – and has raised the target price slightly to 3,800p with a ‘hold’ rating. The close price yesterday was 3,666p, a return of -6.98% YTD and -14.86% over 12 months.

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Please note this article does not constitute investment advice. Investors are encouraged to do their own research beforehand or consult a professional advisor.

James Norris

James Norris

James is a highly experienced writer and editor, gained from more than 20 years in the financial services industry, in particular wealth management and asset management.

He initially worked as a financial journalist for a number of leading media brands, including the FT Group, Financial News, Euromoney and Incisive Media, covering most aspects of the asset management industry. More recently, James switched to work as an in-house content specialist for fund management and wealth management groups, including JP Morgan Asset Management, Quilter Cheviot Investment Management, AXA Investment Managers and Invesco Perpetual.

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