Investec stuck to its 'sell' rating on Antofagasta's shares
after the mining group's quarterly production report.
Antofagasta reported a drop in gold and copper production in its third quarter reflecting lower grades at its mining operations.
It revealed that gold output fell 11.7% to 67,700 ounces while copper production fell 3.4% to 174,200 tonnes.
The Chilean-based copper miner indicated it was on track for full-year production of 700,000 tonnes of copper, 280,000 ounces of gold and 8,000 tonnes of molybdenum.
Investec analyst Marc Elliott said: "The quarter has seen mixed results and we believe this highlights some of the structural issues faced by the company as grades decline.
"The asset base remains strong, backed by a healthy cash balance but we see the company as overvalued. We maintain our target price of 737p and sell recommendation."
Investec reiterated its sell recommendation on Royal Bank of Scotland ahead of rumours that its good bank/bank review will be announced on Friday alongside the company's third quarter statement.
Analyst Ian Gordon said even in the absence of an outright good bank/bad bank split, more "covert" steps may still destroy value, though he believed these would not be the sort that could send the RBS share price straight below £3.
"We believe that Chancellor Osborne will recognise the negative implications of such a course of action," he said.
Instead, Gordon cited three potential covert measures, including 'phase four' rationalisation of international banking that would "crush" 2014 expected earnings, internal reorganisation to redesignate existing "core" assets as "non core" in order to accelerate disposals "with less regard for value optimisation", and finally acceleration of the flotation of Citizens in the US that would lose out on potential optimal value.
AstraZeneca's shares fell on Thursday after it reported third quarter results that fell short of consensus, but broker Panmure Gordon recommended the shares be held.
Revenues were down 4% to $6.2bn due to the impact of loss of patent protection on key drugs. It compared to the $6.38bn consensus.
Core pre-tax profit was $1.91bn versus consensus of $1.94bn and core earnings per share was $1.21 compared to consensus of $1.39.
In a semi victory, however, the company announced today that the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit has reversed and remanded for further proceedings a trial court decision over a patent protecting its asthma medicine Pulmicort Respules against generic brands as invalid.
The company also announced the appointment of Marc Dunoyer as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) to replace Simon Lowth who leaves AstraZeneca today.
"Any disappointment from today's miss should be moderated by news on a significant patent litigation victory," said Panmure.
"New CFO appointed from within, we expect him to be more strategic than technocratic but this is probably what the company needs at this stage."
The broker reiterated its 'hold' recommendation.