Shares of Jones Lang LaSalle Incorporated ( JLL ) touched a new 52-week high of $153.65 on Dec 26. However, the stock closed the session at $152.37, reflecting a solid return of 49.8% in a year's time. The trading volume for the session was 97,278 shares.
Despite the strong price appreciation, this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock still has plenty of upside left, given the positive estimate revisions it witnessed over the past 30 days. Further, the expected long-term earnings per share growth rate for this real estate services firm now stands at 14.4%.
Of late, JLL has been seeing many reasons to cheer. The Chicago, IL-based commercial real estate service provider has been appointed by the prestigious Spanish bank, BBVA, to provide data and lease administration services for Mexico, Portugal and Spain. JLL will also offer transaction management services for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) and Asia.
All this is expected to boost JLL's fees income. Just a day prior to this news, the company received a credit rating upgrade to "BBB" from "BBB-" from the Standard & Poor's Ratings Services (S&P). These factors drove the share price to the new high.
On Oct 29, JLL reported third-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings of $2.31 per share which surpassed both the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $1.78 and the year-ago quarter figure of $1.49. Results were mainly attributed to higher fee revenues. In fact, consolidated fee revenues rose 19% from the prior-year quarter to $1.2 billion, driven by growth in Real Estate and LaSalle Investment Management's advisory and incentive fees.
Echoing similar sentiments, the Zacks Consensus Estimate for both 2014 and 2015 moved north. Specifically, over the last 30 days, the estimate for 2014 climbed 2.4% to $8.22 per share, while that for 2015 advanced 1.1% to $8.89 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Investors interested in the real estate operations industry may also consider stocks like NorthStar Realty Finance Corp. ( NRF ), PennyMac Mortgage Investment Trust ( PMT ) and CBRE Group, Inc. ( CBG ). While both NorthStar Realty Finance and PennyMac Mortgage Investment sport a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), CBRE Group holds a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).
The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.