Broker snap: Credit Suisse labels Rio Tinto and ENRC as top picks in mining sector

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LONDON (ShareCast) - Ahead of earnings season in the mining sector, Credit Suisse (NYSE: CRP - news) has labelled its top and worst picks among resource stocks.

"The upcoming results season will see a changing of the guard across the large caps. Large write-downs, as companies draw a line under past mistakes, are now widely expected by the market and are backward
looking in any case," the broker said on Friday morning.

"More important will be future strategy, and while we think expectations over raised cash returns are a little premature, management teams that can best communicate a balanced, disciplined approach to capital allocation be rewarded by the market in our view."

With miners able to reduce capex over the next two to three years (compared with 2012 levels), Credit Suisse said it sees the "greatest dividend upside on a one- to two-year view from Rio Tinto (Xetra: 855018 - news) , Antofagasta (Other OTC: ANFGY - news) and London Mining (Other OTC: LIIGF - news) ."

The broker said that companies coming to the end of a large investment programme (that could see material improvement in volumes/cash flows) or ones with restructuring catalysts are best places to outperform.

"Our top picks are Rio Tinto and ENRC and from the mid cap group African Minerals and London Mining.

"We downgrade Lonmin (LSE: LMI.L - news) from 'outperform' to 'neutral' with many of the key catalysts having played out since our upgrade at the end of last year."

The broker's least-preferred stocks are Anglo American (LSE: AAL.L - news) , Kazakhmys (LSE: KAZ.L - news) and Antofagasta.

BC