Why brokers rate these 3 ASX shares as buys

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Once again a number of Australian brokers have been working hard re-evaluating shares on both the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) and ALL ORDINARIES (Index: ^AXAO) (ASX: XAO).

According to CommSec, three shares have just been upgraded by brokers to consensus buy ratings. They are as follows:

Ainsworth Game Technology Limited (ASX: AGI)

The leading gaming machine manufacturer has been upgraded by brokers to a strong buy. This upgrade comes not long after the result of an important vote at the company’s extraordinary general meeting. Last week the company announced the resolution to approve the sale of 52.2% of Leonard Ainsworth’s shares in the company to Australian-based gaming company Novomatic had been passed by shareholders. Whilst the completion of the share sale is subject to a range of regulatory and gaming licence approvals, the market appears bullish on potential synergies and Novomatic’s intention to support the acceleration of the company’s growth. The share price has dropped by almost 17% in the last month, which I feel could make the current price a good entry point for investors.

APA Group (ASX: APA)

The natural gas transportation business could be one to watch following its recent upgrade by brokers to a moderate buy. One thing I like about APA Group is its dividend growth. The company has managed to increase its dividend for 10 successive years and is expected to continue the trend again this year with an estimated unfranked 4.4% dividend. Supporting this growth has been its interests in energy infrastructure, which includes natural gas pipelines, gas storage facilities, and a wind farm. As natural gas demand continues to grow, APA Group is one company that stands to benefit. Unfortunately though at 48x trailing earnings it is a little bit on the expensive side in my opinion. I would recommend waiting for a pull back before making an investment.

Paladin Energy Ltd (ASX: PDN)

This Australian uranium production company has also been upgraded by brokers to a moderate buy. With uranium prices recently plummeting to a new 10-year low, it certainly hasn’t been a great time to be invested in uranium miners. Currently uranium fetches US$26.50 a pound, which is a massive decline from US$130 a pound in 2007. But according to reports in the Australian Financial Review, experts believe that uranium is likely to stage a rapid recovery thanks to increasing demand. With its shares down 92% in the last five years, Paladin Energy’s shareholders may finally have a little bit to smile about. Personally, I believe this is too speculative an investment at the moment and would hold off doing so despite the upgrade by brokers.

Instead I would recommend taking a look at these three fantastic new breed blue chip shares. Each pays a solid fully franked dividend and could provide investors with share price gains in the months ahead.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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