Personnel recruiter Hays reported third quarter like-for-like net fee growth of 10%, although Brexit worries continued to dog the UK and Ireland which posted a 2% fall in a "subdued" market.
Tesco plc: Berenberg upgrades to buy with a target price of 255p.
Interim profit at FTSE 250 recruiter Hays rose 18% on the back of strong growth in its international markets and good cost control in the UK.
Sky plc: RBC downgrades to sector perform with a target price of 1.150p.
RBC Capital Markets upgraded PageGroup to 'outperform' from 'sector perform' and lifted its price target to 640p from 490p, saying it "looks the best staffing play at this point".
Johnson Matthey plc: Berenberg upgrades to buy with a target price of 3,680p.
FTSE 250 recruiter Hays posted a jump in second-quarter net fees on Thursday on the back of growth in its international businesses.
Improving economic conditions in Europe and a tougher backdrop in the UK was a large part of why Credit Suisse upgraded five outward focused stocks and downgraded seven others as it reviewed prospects for the business services sector.
According to reports, Hasbro was toying with the idea of acquiring competitor Mattel, makers of Barbie, in a move that would see the two biggest names in the industry combine to create a multinational powerhouse.
Wall Street is being called to start the week slightly lower amid somewhat downbeat 'market chatter' regarding the prospects for fiscal reform in the States and President Donald Trump's remarks at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation conference, in Vietnam.
FTSE 250 recruiter Hays reported another record quarterly net fee performance on Thursday as all its divisions saw solid growth.
FTSE 250 recruiter Hays posted a rise in full-year profit on Thursday as it announced its first special dividend following a solid performance in Europe and a stabilisation in the UK.
Recruitment outfit Hays said full-year operating profit was expected to be marginally ahead of consensus expectations of £209.5m and was considering increasing shareholder returns.
Recruiter Hays said full year profits were likely to be at the top of the current range of market forecasts after it drummed up a record level of quarterly net fees, helped by the UK decline beginning to ease off.
Analysts at Credit Suisse bumped up their recommendation on shares of Hays, hailing the firm´s growth prospects, cash generation ability and the likelihood of a prolonged period of special dividends.
Unilever: Berenberg reiterates Buy with a target price of 4100p.
FTSE 250 recruiter Hays reported a rise in profit and net fees for the first half of the year, thanks in particular to solid performances in Germany and Australia.
Hays: Deutsche Bank upgrades to Hold with a target price of 160p.
Deutsche Bank has upgraded the European staffing sector to 'hold' from 'sell' due to a lack of negative catalysts in the industry.
Hays posted a trading update for its second quarter to 31 December on Thursday, with overall growth described as "solid" at 2%, off the back of underlying growth of 3%, adjusted for working days.