Buy, Sell, Hold – what the brokers say

Editorial director of Switzer
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Revisions of sector forecasts and input prices were still a theme this week, as analysts reviewed their outlooks for a number of key commodities, which resulted in mostly upgrades for companies like Newcrest Mining and Incitec Pivot.

Macquarie downgraded Woodside Petroleum ahead of its financial results, with a big projection of a 35% drop in earnings over the next 10 years, if no new growth projects or acquisitions eventuate.

In the good books

GUD Holdings (GUD) announced its interim result and was upgraded to Neutral from Sell by Citi and Neutral from Underperform by Credit Suisse. The FY14 guidance was unchanged after the first half and this implies a substantial improvement in the second half, according to Credit Suisse. The broker would prefer a cheaper valuation to compensate for the risk profile but, at current levels, the risk/reward balance is fairly even. Citi considers the company's controllable improvements, such as cost cutting and restructuring, will be the primary drivers of earnings growth in the short term, rather than any fundamental improvement in the underlying businesses.

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