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Broker tips: CapCo, Shaftesbury, Abrdn, Jupiter Fund Management

Analysts at Berenberg lowered their target prices on both Capital & Counties and Shaftesbury on Friday as it took a fresh look at the UK real estate sector.
Berenberg stated the recommended all-share merger of CapCo and Shaftesbury, which was formally announced on 16 June, came with “no major surprises”, as all terms were broadly in line with what had been disclosed in the rule 2.4 announcement of 9 May and its own initial assumptions.

“With a compelling rationale for the merger, a long-discussed business combination, and shareholder commonality, we continue to think that, on balance, and despite Shaftesbury shares continuing to trade ahead of terms, the transaction will complete as proposed,” said Berenberg.

The German bank also noted that Shaftesbury’s recent interim results and CapCo’s updated March 2022 valuation/trading update, had highlighted the recovery of the super-prime central London markets.

However, Berenberg noted it had made a number of transaction-specific changes and amended some forecast assumptions for both companies in light of current macroeconomic conditions.

“As a result, we lower our price target for CapCo to 195.0p (from 220.0p). As Shaftesbury is likely to trade in line with CapCo until the transaction completes, our price target of 564.0p (from 725.0p) for Shaftesbury now reflects the proposed exchange ratio and our CapCo price target,” said the analysts, who stood by their ‘buy’ ratings on both stocks.

Citi downgraded Abrdn and Jupiter Fund Management to ‘sell’ from ‘neutral’ on Friday as it took a look at European asset managers.

“Markets have fallen and European traditionals have de-rated to 10x from 12-13x but we still see risks to the downside, given weak near-term fundamentals (flows and earnings; Citi estimates are -9-11% below consensus) while self-help is largely played out,” the bank said.

“We see downside risks for almost all names, but see the biggest risk of disappointment at Abrdn and Jupiter, both of which we downgrade to sell, while we downgrade DWS to neutral.”

Citi also said it was opening “negative catalyst watches” on Ashmore amid weak performance trends, as well as Abrdn and Jupiter, due to weak flows and results.

The bank downgraded its stance on the sector to ‘underweight’.

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