Top brokers name 3 ASX shares to buy today

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX:BHP) shares are one of three that have been given buy ratings this week. Here's why…

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According to the ASX, at the end of last month there were 2,279 listed entities on the Australian share market.

With so many investment options to choose from, it certainly can be hard to decide which ones to buy. But fortunately, brokers across Australia have tried to make investors' lives easier by recommending shares to buy and sell.

Three which have been given buy ratings this week are listed below. Here's why brokers rate them as buys:

BHP Billiton Limited (ASX: BHP)

According to a note out of the Macquarie equities desk, it has retained its outperform rating and $36.20 price target on the mining giant's shares. The broker has been looking into BHP Billiton's iron ore operations in Western Australia and believes they could grow to account for upwards of half of its total net profit over the next five years. The broker has pointed to the South Flank development as being key to its long-term production. I agree with Macquarie that BHP Billiton would be a buy today. Although its shares have rallied strongly over the last 12 months, I still see more upside ahead if commodity prices remain favourable.

Fortescue Metals Group Limited (ASX: FMG)

A note out of UBS reveals that the broker has retained its buy rating and lifted the price target on the iron ore miner's shares to $5.75. The investment bank's analysts have made the move on the back of Fortescue's plan to look at higher grade iron ore opportunities at its Eliwana operation. The Fortescue board has just approved the operation's development and UBS believes It could result in better margins down the line. While I would agree that Fortescue is a buy at the current share price, I would prefer to gain exposure to iron ore through a more diversified miner like BHP Billliton.

Integral Diagnostics Ltd (ASX: IDX)

Analysts at Credit Suisse have retained their outperform rating and lifted the price target on this diagnostic imaging service provider's shares to $3.05. The broker appears pleased with the company's decision to acquire four radiology clinics in New Zealand on Tuesday. Its analysts expect the NZ$105 million deal to be highly accretive to earnings and have updated its earnings forecasts to reflect this. I think the deal looks to be a good one and could make Integral Diagnostics worth a closer look.

Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the 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 Scott Phillips.

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