Aviva downgraded as UBS sees hard work starting now

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All of the good news is in the price for Aviva PLC (LON:AV.) or for now at least says UBS, which has downgraded to hold from buy even though its target price rises.

Restructuring following the sales of its overseas businesses is now in the price, says the Swiss broker, and the focus now switches to operational improvements.

To achieve that will require a shift in business mix, in UBS’s view, which will take time to deliver with untested complexities and investment/M&A needed.

Aviva, however, is better placed than rival L&G PLC(LON:LGEN), which UBS rates as a sell.

L&G’s share price has bounced on rising rates, benign credit risk and positive regulatory noises but earnings ratings appear full and cash/capital analysis points to pressure on dividend forecasts.

Targets are 420p for Aviva and 240p for L&G compared to market prices today of 407.6p and 278.8p respectively.

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