Glaxo Wellcome's story just gets better, says BT Alex.Brown, which has repeated its buy recommendation (2018p) on the pharmaceutical giant's stock. SG Securities also considers it a buy (2021p), encouraged by the performance in its respiratory and HIV portfolios, while Teather & Greenwood notes that "with one of the most productive pipelines, double-digit earnings from 1999 are achievable".
Sutherlands has upgraded Ulster Television (220p) from reduce to hold after the Northern Ireland franchise holder reported a rise in profits on Monday, boosted by the sale of a sixth of its stake in Societe Europeenne des Satillites, and announced a 35p special dividend.
Full-year results from Halifax last week and news of pounds 1.5bn return of capital in June pleased analysts, with Teather & Greenwood upgrading the stock from sell to hold, and Merrill Lynch moving from neutral to buy for the long-term. BT Alex.Brown, held its recommendation on the shares at underperform (780p).
Merrill Lynch has downgraded property developer Slough Estates (325p) to neutral, citing a longer-term concern over its overseas developments. Slough's 44 per cent exposure to offices and industrials in the Thames Valley area should be defensive, Merrill adds.