Brokers have labelled these 3 shares strong buys

Brokers up and down Australia have been busy upgrading and downgrading shares on the S&P/ASX 200 (Index: ^AXJO) (ASX: XJO) ahead of what will no doubt be a very eventful earnings season.

Three shares that have just been upgraded to consensus strong buy ratings by brokers according to CommSec are as follows:

Austal Limited (ASX: ASB)

With its shares down over 31% so far this year and nearing their 52-week low, it would appear that brokers think boat builder Austal Limited could be great value right now. The company’s shares have come under heavy selling pressure in the last couple of months thanks largely to an announcement that higher-than-expected construction costs on one of its major projects would result in it taking a US$115 million one-off write back against work in progress. In light of this management downgraded FY 2016 EBIT to a $116 million to $121 million loss. With FY 2017 EBIT forecast to be $45 million to $55 million, this could be a great option for patient buy and hold investors.

Monash IVF Group Ltd (ASX: MVF)

The shares of fertility treatment company Monash IVF have so far this year risen a whopping 33%. I was impressed with the company’s half year report which saw patient numbers increase by over 17% year-on-year. This resulted in strong top and bottom line growth of 31.6% and 27.6%, respectively. With the company continuing to steal market share in its key markets and management expecting increasing demand for its services, Monash IVF strikes me as being a great investment today. Its shares are currently changing hands at around 17x trailing earnings, which considering its strong earnings growth makes them great value in my opinion.

Ramsay Health Care Limited (ASX: RHC)

The private hospital operator is my favourite share in the healthcare sector. Thanks to its 221 hospitals across six countries, I believe Ramsay Health Care is positioned perfectly to capture the growth in demand for hospital care services. Ageing populations, increased chronic disease burden, and improvements in treatment and diagnostic methods have all been pointed out as catalysts for growth by management. Whilst its shares do not come cheap at 38x trailing earnings, I believe it is worth paying every cent to get a piece of this high quality company.

Lastly, before making an investment in any of these shares I would highly recommend checking to see if you own one of these three rotten ASX shares. Each could be damaging your portfolio and might be best swapped out.

3 Rotten Shares to Sell, and 1 to Buy Today

After a double-digit rally for the ASX since 2016 lows, investors should be on high alert. You'll find a full rundown below of 3 shares we think you should avoid today plus one top pick worth buying, even if the market turns south and the RBA keeps rates at an "emergency low." Simply click here to uncover these stocks.

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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