- Equity research analysts at HSBC have downgraded their investment rating on G4S [LON:GFS] to reduce (from hold) saying it's a "tricky stock" and that it is not entirely sure what will emerge from the security services group's transformation strategy.

The bank also highlighted that wage cost pressures may become more acute.

"Ideally, valuation would be on the future "recovered earnings" of the business discounted back to a present value," HSBC's Matthew Lloyd explained.

"However, the company moves business lines in and out of its "portfolio" and "discontinued" segments. This makes it hard to discern trends in the business and isolate what the business emergent from the "transformation strategy" will make in profits, or what multiple to apply to it."

Nevertheless, HSBC upped its target price to 259p per share (from 245p), implying around 14 per cent downside.

Turning to the pharmaceuticals sector, Stifel promoted Circassia [LON:CIR] to buy (from hold) following the acquisition of f US commercial rights to two COPD products from AstraZeneca for up to $230m, stating this "is precisely the type of deal we have been waiting for".

The broker said: "According to Circassia, the acquisition of Tudorza and Duaklir from AstraZeneca is expected to be accretive to earnings after one year.

"It is also cashflow neutral prior to triggering the option to acquire full rights to Tudorza. Based on our NPV analysis, we believe the deal creates significant value."

Target hiked to 150p per share (from 99p).

Separately, JP Morgan Cazenove reaffirmed its neutral call on the stock, but conceded: "AZN respiratory deal could offer 20% NPV accretion, if company can commercialise in a competitive big cap pharma arena."

At 3:03pm:

[LON:CIR] Circassia Pharmaceuticals Plc share price was +9.75p at 101.75p

[LON:GFS] G4S PLC share price was -5.6p at 295.3p

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