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Broker tips: Prudential, Auto Trader, AJ Bell

By Michele Maatouk

Date: Friday 02 Jun 2023

Broker tips: Prudential, Auto Trader, AJ Bell

(Sharecast News) - JPMorgan Cazenove placed Prudential shares on 'positive catalyst watch' on Friday into the first-half results in August.
It said the latest data on Mainland Chinese Visitors (MCV) to Hong Kong suggest further strong growth into 2Q23.

"Together with data just emerging on the split of MCV/domestic customer sales for Prudential in HK, we think Prudential is on track to beat consensus for new business sales/profits by 5%/13% in 2023E," it said.

JPM rates Prudential at 'overweight' with a 1,850p price target.

In the same note, the bank said it also remains positive on reinsurers and Beazley, but would look for better timing to buy at the end of the quarter.

RBC Capital Markets upped its price target on Auto Trader to 670p from 610p after the company's results a day earlier.

"We view management's guidance for 10% ARPR growth as achievable, given the encouraging momentum of its AT Connect solution as well as the successful pricing event in April," RBC said.

In addition, it said ongoing strong consumer demand and elevated used car prices should continue to be supportive for car dealers' spending power.

"However, supply constraint should limit the pace of volume recovery at Autorama, placing our forecasts for this segment below Street expectations which keeps us from being more constructive."

RBC rates the shares at 'sector perform'.

Jefferies slashed its price target on AJ Bell to 370p from 450p, keeping the rating at 'buy'.

"Our revenue margin estimates for H1 were close to accurate, although we do now increase the FY23 top line forecast somewhat," it said.

"However, our operating margin was too low given the NII contribution, so costs come down and we raise our FY23 profit before tax estimates 8%.

"The trajectory of earnings growth slows in our medium-term forecasts, bringing down our valuation to £3.70."

Still, the bank said AJ Bell justifies a premium rating versus peers, hence why it retained the buy rating.


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