(ShareCast News) - Gold miner Acacia Mining had its share price target lifted in a bullish note from Jefferies on Wednesday morning.
Jefferies reiterated its 'buy' rating and status as the investment bank's top pick in the sector, and lifted its target price to 575p from 550p as the once-chronic underperformer continues to deliver operational and financial improvements under new management.
2017 guidance for higher production and lower costs was "robust", analysts felt, and despite the strong recent run in the shares, the valuation is "not stretched", with its enterprise value 4.9 times EBITDA versus the sector's 7.9x.
Hunting shares got a lift as Goldman Sachs reiterated its 'buy' rating on the stock and added it to its Conviction List, upping its price target to 734.3p from 666.7p.
GS noted that this year to date, the stock is down 11% versus its Europe sector coverage and said the underperformance is a buying opportunity.
The bank said it is positive on the company's US exposure, adding that within its European oil services coverage, Hunting has the highest exposure there, and as such should benefit from improving volumes from the second half onwards.
Ashtead got a boost on Wednesday as Bank of America-Merrill Lynch upped its price target on the stock to 2,000p from 1,620p and reiterated its 'buy' rating.
The bank said Ashtead remains an attractive long-term investment opportunity, offering around 20% earnings per share compound annual growth rate for an attractive price-to-earnings rating of 12.6x to April 2018.
"The long-term growth story of structural and macro growth remains well entrenched with the added benefits of self-propelled growth fragmented markets and relatively placid competition," Merrill said.