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Top brokers name 3 ASX shares to buy today

Brokers have been kept especially busy this week adjusting their recommendations to account for recent market volatility, annual general meeting updates, and corporate developments.

Three shares that have fared well are listed below. Here’s why brokers have buy ratings on them:

Ardent Leisure Group (ASX: AAD)

According to a note out of Citi, it has retained its buy rating but cut the price target on this entertainment company’s shares a touch to $2.15 following its annual general meeting update. Although the broker suspects that its Main Event business could slow in the short term, it expects the U.S. based business to contribute strongly to its earnings growth in the future as its operating performance improves and store roll out resumes. While I think that Ardent Leisure could be a good turnaround investment option, I still feel that it is a touch too soon to pick up shares.

Carsales.Com Ltd (ASX: CAR)

A note out of Ord Minnett reveals that its analysts have upgraded this car listing company’s shares to a buy rating from hold. The broker has, however, cut the price target on its shares slightly to $14.84. According to the note, although there are areas of its business facing challenges right now, the broker believes that Carsales’ core business remains strong. In addition to this, it sees significant growth opportunities from its international operations in the future and notes that its shares are trading on much lower than normal multiples. While I do have slight concerns over Facebook’s entry into the market in Australia, I do agree that Carsales could be worth considering at these levels.

G8 Education Ltd (ASX: GEM)

Analysts at Morgans have retained their add rating and lifted the price target on this childcare operator’s shares to $3.04 following its investor day. The broker appears pleased to see occupancy levels tracking ahead of expectations and its wage costs in line. And while G8 Education’s management team does not expect meaningful improvements in trading conditions until mid 2019 at the earliest, the broker sees a lot of value in the company’s shares at these levels. While I think that Morgans makes a fair point, I’d like to see a few quarters of consistent progress before considering an investment.

In the meantime, I would sooner pick up this growing dividend share which has also been rated as a buy.

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Motley Fool contributor James Mickleboro has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended carsales.com Limited. 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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