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Goldman Sachs names its twenty top UK picks

Goldman today launched the UK "conviction calls" list to highlight the best ideas of its equity analysts across all sectors. The recommendations will run alongside its pan-European stock selection, which has been in operation since April 2006.

It divided its picks into eight broad sectors, with buy and sell recommendations on both sides.

Starting with the extraction sector, Goldman picked Anglo American and the south-east Asian oil and gas group Salamander Energy to outperform. On the "underperform" list were Xstrata and services company John Wood Group.

For infrastructure, Goldman recommended British Energy and two telecoms companies, Vodafone and KCOM Group (the former Kingston Communications). Three electricity utilities provided its sell recommendations: International Power, National Grid and Scottish & Southern.

With the financials, the US broker was positive on HBOS and Dolphin Capital Investors, a real estate company with assets in Greece, Cyprus, Croatia, Turkey and the Dominican Republic. For investors wanting to pair trade, its financial sell list consisted of Alliance & Leicester and Liberty International.

Bus operators Go-Ahead and Arriva made the consumer cyclicals buy list, along with pubs group Greene King. They were paired on the sell side by retailers Kesa and Tesco, and Enterprise Inns.

Goldman could only find one company in its "consumer defensive" group worth buying, the Durex condom maker SSL International. In the same supersector it picked SABMiller as the sell.

For cyclicals, the broker was positive on BAE Systems, industrial testing firm Intertek, and the Hays reruitment agency. Those three buy recommendations were balanced by negative calls on Compass Group, Barratt Developments and Rexam.

Autonomy and Aveva, the software company formerly known as CADCentre, were Goldman's "outperform" selections in the technology and media sector, matched by "underperform" ratings on ITV and Computacenter.

The broker also highlighted four buys and four sells from the mid-caps. On the buy side were nursing home specialist Southern Cross Healthcare, spread betters IG Group, William Hill and Domino's Pizza.

Those four were paired with sell recommendations on building materials group SIG, carpet maker Headlam, Majestic Wine and broadcast systems and services firm Vitec Group.

Detailed financial data for all the companies mentioned are available to Hemscott Premium subscribers, along with a compehensive suite of investment analysis tools.


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