- Berenberg Bank upgraded its recommendation on Hotel Chocolat [LON:HOTC] to 'buy' from 'hold' following the recently released full-year results and given its "sweeter" valuation.

The bank highlighted the 12 per cent year-on-year increase in revenue, 32 per cent underlying earnings growth and the strategic progress made by the chocolate company.

"When we initiated on the stock in June, we believed the company had significant growth potential but we felt that the valuation was a bit stretched," analysts commented.

"However, with the stock down c8% since then and our earnings expectations increasing considerably, we feel the valuation is now more attractive."

Berenberg lifted its price target to 380 pence per share from 330 pence.

Elsewhere, JP Morgan Cazenove upgraded Qinetiq [LON:QQ.] to 'overweight' from 'neutral' following a trading update from the defence group which confirmed a recovery in order intake in EMEA Services.

The City heavyweight also highlighted the c15% share price correction since publishing its first-quarter update in mid-July, making it the cheapest European Defence stock on clean EV/EBITA and second cheapest on clean P/E.

Analysts left their price target unchanged at 290 pence per share, implying around 24 per cent potential upside.

At 3:06pm:

[LON:HOTC] Hotel Chocolat Group Ltd share price was +4.5p at 311p

[LON:QQ.] QinetiQ Group PLC share price was -4.4p at 242.5p

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