Top broker names 3 ASX shares to buy today

Analysts at Macquarie Group Ltd (ASX: MQG) have been very busy today. A research note out of its equities research team this morning has placed outperform ratings on no less than three ASX shares in the insurance industry.

The three shares which Macquarie is recommending are as follows:

Medibank Private Ltd (ASX: MPL)

Following a 17% drop in its share price in the last three months I would have to agree with Macquarie that Medibank is starting to look attractive again. The estimated fully franked 4.7% dividend its shares will provide next year according to CommSec makes it a great option for income investors in my opinion. Whilst I do have concerns over how competitive the industry is and how easy it is to switch providers, at 15x full year earnings I believe it presents investors with a compelling risk/reward.

NIB Holdings Limited (ASX: NHF)

Although Macquarie likes both, I personally would choose Medibank over health insurance rival NIB Holdings at this point in time. Not only are NIB’s shares changing hands at 21x full year earnings, they are only expected to provide a fully franked 3.5% dividend in FY 2017. As far as I’m concerned the shares are looking a little on the expensive side right now and could be subject to declines in the months ahead as a result.

Suncorp Group Ltd (ASX: SUN)

Suncorp would have to be my pick of all of Australia’s insurers at the moment. It’s cheap price, strong dividend, and new operating model make it a great investment today in my eyes. The company has underperformed in recent years, but management appears confident that changes to its operating model will greatly improve the overall performance of the company. At 14x full year earnings and expected to pay a fully franked 6% dividend next year, its shares look to be in bargain territory to me.

Alternatively these rapidly growing shares all provide fully franked dividends for their respective shareholders. Each could be a great investment today if you ask me.

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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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