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Admiral Group Plc boosted by big Nomura upgrade

Admiral Group Plc, RSA Insurance Group Plc, Barclays Plc, Meggit Plc, Genel Energy Plc and Fastjet Plc were all in Tuesday’s broker spotlight.

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Admiral Group Plc (LON:ADM) was the subject of a big upgrade today as Nomura moved to ‘buy’, from ‘hold’, and lifted its price target to £23.25 from £16.30.

The broker is positive on the European general (or non-life) insurance sector which Nomura describes as ‘still very special’.

A ‘buy’ recommendation was also repeated for RSA Insurance Group Plc (LON:RSA), and Nomura’s target moved to 510p from 495p.

“As expected, the UK non-life names have performed well on a relative basis year to date amid market turbulence,” Nomura analyst Fahad Changazi said in a note.

“However, strong results by RSA, Direct Line and Admiral, and subsequent strong sharehttp://images.intellitxt.com/ast/adTypes/lb_icon1.png price performance on the day, served to highlight the bottom-up attractiveness of UK non-life stocks.”

Commenting specifically on Admiral, Changazi added: “Our two key reasons for upgrading Admiral are exposure to rising UK motor rates and potential to pay out excess capital return above guidance (£300m vs £150-200m guidance).”

Elsewhere, Citigroup spliced 35p off its price target for Barclays Plc (LON:BARC) - and the broker’s ‘buy’ now targets 200p per share.

Investec cooled on engineering group Meggit Plc (LON:MGGT) which it now rates as ‘add’ rather than ‘buy’.

Meanwhile, Liberum Capital downgraded Kurdistan oil producer Genel Energy Plc (LON:GENL) to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’. And, also downgraded African airline Fastjet Plc (LON:FJET) to ‘hold’ from ‘buy’ as well.

Hay fever vaccine specialist Allergy Therapeutics PLC’s (LON:AGY) mix of continued commercial traction and breadth of new product opportunities underpins the investment case, according to Panmure Gordon.

A target price of 51p gives strong upside against current levels and a placing in November has given it the firepower to acquire/license additional products. Buy says the broker.

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