Here’s our weekly round-up of how the experts view the shares in the news this week.

1. Paddy Power Betfair - BUY

Symbol: PPB.L

Index: FTSE 100

Paddy Power Betfair share price graph (Image : Google Finance)

It’s been a difficult time for the company’s share price which fell on news that Breon Corcoran had resigned as chief executive – and dropped further after disappointing interim results.

However, Ivor Jones, an analyst at Peel Hunt, pointed out the integration of Paddy Power and Betfair was nearing completion and that the business was in a structural growth market.

“It is close to unifying the online business onto a single tech platform and is investing in margin and marketing to sustain market share,” he said.

2. United Utilities - BUY

Symbol: UU.L

Index: FTSE 100

United Utilities Share Price Graph (Image: Google Finance)

Shares in the North West’s water company, which is responsible for keeping the taps flowing in three million homes, have been lacklustre of late.

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, believes this could be a good opportunity for investors to buy at an attractive level.

“They may also be attracted to the stock as it could benefit from the rise in geopolitical events,” he said.

3. Merlin Entertainments - HOLD

Symbol: MERL.L

Index: FTSE 100

Merlin Entertainments share price graph (Image: Google Finance)

The theme park operator, which runs popular attractions such as Alton Towers and Thorpe Park, is on track to report full-year profits in line with expectations.

Graham Spooner, investment research analyst at The Share Centre, likes the group’s range of products and its continued international expansion plans.

“In its latest market update Merlin Entertainments missed its forecast due to reduced visitor numbers at its London attractions as terrorist concerns continue,” he said.

[Read more: How to earn a salary from your investments]

4. Hastings Insurance Group - BUY

Symbol: HSTG.L

Index: FTSE 250

Hastings share price graph (Image: Google Finance)

The insurance company cheered the City with a strong set of results that were underpinned by 15% policy growth and market share wins.

A consistent delivery of targets, an attractive business model and strong cash generation are attractive to Andreas van Embden, an analyst at Peel Hunt.

“We stay positive as Hastings remains one of the standout insurers in the competitive UK Motor market,” he said.

5. Cobham - HOLD

Symbol: COB.L

Index: FTSE 250

Cobham share price graph (Image: Google Finance)

The technology company, which provides solutions for problems everywhere from space to the ocean, could provide opportunities for investors.

Ben Bourne, an analyst at Liberum, is optimistic that a combination of better execution and the improving defence market should help drive upgrades.

“We are optimistic on medium term recovery but await a better entry given expensive near term valuation metrics,” he said.

The information included in this article does not constitute regulated financial advice. You should seek out independent, professional financial advice before making an investment decision.

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