Shares of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated ( JLL) crafted a new 52-week high, touching $102.23 during the trading session on Dec 24. However, the stock closed the session at $101.75, which reflects a solid year-to-date return of 18.7%. The trading volume for the session was 0.08 million shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock has plenty of upside left, given the improving market fundamentals, acquisitions, deal with Gemalto and expected long-term earnings growth of 13.83%.
We are positive on Jones Lang LaSalle, following its strong results in third-quarter 2013 and improving market fundamentals. Aided by solid growth in revenues, Jones Lang’s third-quarter 2013 adjusted earnings per share came in substantially ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and also came 21% above the year-ago quarter figure.
Quarterly results benefited from decent growth in fee revenues, driven by Capital Markets & Hotels and Property & Facility Management and a strong performance in leasing. Moreover, the company increased its credit facility, which along with a solid balance sheet, provides the company the wherewithal to carry on investing in growth drivers going forward.
In recent times, Jones Lang LaSalle disclosed that it was selected by Gemalto – a leading international digital security company – to act as adviser for its worldwide real estate operations. The company also acquired a Houston-based property management company – Means Knaus Partners (:MKP) in the third quarter to enhance its office property management capacities. Apart from this, it acquired the Kansas City-area commercial real estate firm, Capital Realty.
Moreover, Jones Lang LaSalle saw its 50 Day Moving Average break out above its 200 Day Simple Moving Average a few days ago. The stock has recorded an average earnings surprise of 12.02% over the past 4 quarters.
Other Stocks to Consider
Apart from Jones Lang LaSalle, the other stocks worth considering in the Real Estate Operations sector include E-House (China) Holdings Ltd. ( EJ), FirstService Corp. ( FSRV) and Kennedy-Wilson Holdings, Inc. ( KW). All these stocks carry a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy).