Buy, Sell, Hold – what the brokers say

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As earnings season draws to a close, analysts have been extra busy moving on companies. The good news is that for the larger stocks at least, there seems to be more upgrades than downgrades. Here are this week’s highlights so far.

In the good books

JP Morgan upgraded QBE Insurance (QBE) to Overweight from Neutral on the back of a 2013 result that was slightly better than the broker expected. The broker is not completely confident that all reserving issues are laid to rest, but thinks any remaining will be smaller. Also, if QBE achieves just some of the initiative to improve margins, there will be value there.

The reported financials for Lend Lease Corporation (LLC) proved in-line, but CIMB believes this company is poised to generate some serious growth in the three years ahead and upgraded to Add from Hold. CIMB states consensus forecasts will prove too low for FY15/FY16 and, as the market comes to recognise this, investors will re-rate the stock. Prepare for higher PE multiple is the underlying message.

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