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4 Reasons to Add Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL) to Your Portfolio

Zacks Equity Research

While the possible Fed lift-off decision and associated economic data points occupy maximum media attention at present, there are opportunities waiting to be grabbed in other sectors.

Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated JLL is one such lucrative avenue. Notably, shares of this Chicago-based real estate operations company gained over 8% year to date, and the stock continues to reflect strength in several areas.

4 Reasons Why JLL is an Attractive Pick

Acquisitions: Of late, JLL has been on an acquisition spree. During the first nine months of 2015, the company completed as many as 12 acquisitions in Australia, Canada, England, Germany, Japan, Poland, Sweden, Turkey and the U.S. Moreover, during its third-quarter earnings release in late October, JLL revealed that 15 acquisitions had been either announced or executed in 2015 alone. Moreover, since the beginning of 2014, the company has made 25 acquisitions.

Most recently, JLL revealed deals to acquire Corrigo Incorporated, a leading cloud-based facility and service management solutions provider; CIB, LLC, a leading provider of brokerage services; and CIB Management, LLC, a popular commercial property manager. Other recent acquisitions include those of Avenue9, Martin Potts & Associates, Guardian Property Asset Management, and Oak Grove Commercial Mortgage, LLC.

Earnings per Share: JLL posted an earnings surprise of 29.23% in the last reported quarter. The company has delivered positive surprises in all of the trailing four quarters with an average beat of 35.43%.

Its historical EPS growth (3–5 years) of 22.02% is well above the industry average of 2.72%. Moreover, its earnings momentum is expected to continue in the near term as reflected by the company’s projected EPS growth (F1/F0) of 16.27%, compared to the industry average rate of a negative 8.82%. This indicates strong prospects for the company.

Cash Flow Growth: JLL enjoys decent cash flow growth, which is much needed to drive business, going forward. Its historical cash flow growth stood at 20.10%, well above the industry average of 15.98%, reflecting its solid cash-generation capabilities. At present, its cash flow growth stands at an impressive 30.50%, which is not only ahead of many of its peers but also above the industry average of 4.66%.

Earnings Estimate Revisions: Analysts have been raising their estimates for JLL lately. In fact, in the past 30 days, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for 2015 moved north 12 cents to $10.10, while that for 2016 climbed 6 cents to $10.41.

Conclusion

Considering these positives, we believe that investing in JLL right now will not disappoint you. The company currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Moreover, reflecting its solid growth potential, the stock has a Zacks Growth Style Score of ‘A’. According to our style score system, a stock with a favorable Zacks Rank and Zacks Growth Style Score of ‘A’ (or ‘B’) is highly desirable.

Other Stocks to Consider

Top-ranked stocks in the real estate space include Henderson Land Development Co. Ltd. HLDCY, CBRE Group Inc. CBG and Reis, Inc. REIS. All three stocks hold a Zacks Rank #2.


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