- Liberum Capital has upgraded its recommendation on National Express [LON:NEX] to buy (from hold) after modifying its valuation approach to reflect the public transport group's strategy of pursuing a large number of modest opportunities.

The broker added: "Exiting UK rail has highlighted the lower risk profile of the group relative to its peers."

Analysts raised their target price to 400p from 370p.

Peel Hunt said it continues to be optimistic about the 2017 outlook for amusement park operator Merlin Entertainments but reckons the share price "has caught up with reality" and has cut its rating to hold (from buy).

Analyst Ivor Jones said: "We believe that 2017 will be a year when Merlin continues excellent execution of its strategy and the macro environment may be a little brighter. However, we believe this is accounted for in our forecasts and now in the share price."

Turning to property portal Rightmove [LON:RMV], Morgan Stanley believes the weakness in the UK property market could continue to weigh on the shares.

Downgrading its investment rating to equal-weight (from overweight), the City heavyweight commented: "We still view them as a solid hold for shareholders, but near term, we see more headwinds than catalysts."

At 3:17pm:

[LON:MERL] Merlin Entertainments PLC share price was -5.6p at 492.7p

[LON:NEX] National Express Group PLC share price was +6.4p at 358.3p

[LON:RMV] Rightmove PLC share price was +69.5p at 4069.5p

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