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Analyst Blog

Ushering in good news for CBRE Group Inc. (CBG - Analyst Report), Standard & Poor’s Rating Services (S&P) has upgraded its rating on the company’s debt. Specifically, the company’s secured debt rating has been raised to investment grade, BBB- from the earlier rating of BB while its unsecured debt rating was also enhanced to BB from B+.

Moreover, CBRE’s enterprise rating has been increased to BB+ from BB with a positive outlook. The upgrade reflects the company’s conservative financial management as well as an uptick in contractual revenue.

Not only S&P, the other rating agency - Moody’s Investors Service - also announced its optimistic outlook on CBRE in the recent past. In fact, Moody’s affirmed CBRE’s Ba1 debt rating and changed its rating outlook for CBRE to positive from stable. Their optimistic outlook was based on the company’s enhanced revenue diversity and conservative financial management.

We view the rating upgrades from the credit rating agencies as a positive for the stock as these play an important part in retaining investor confidence in the stock as well as enhancing creditworthiness in the market.

As a matter of fact, aided by higher revenues, CBRE Group’s first-quarter 2014 adjusted earnings per share came in well ahead of the Zacks Consensus Estimate and up 56% year over year. Notably, during the quarter, the company inked outsourcing contracts with international occupiers like Alibaba Group and Wipro Ltd. (WIT - Snapshot Report).

With market conditions continuing to improve, we believe that opportunistic acquisitions would serve as growth drivers, supplementing the company’s organic growth. Improving property sales, leasing and outsourcing business also augur well going forward.

Despite the regulatory limits on GSEs lending and unfavorable foreign currency movement, we believe that the strategic investments in people and platform stand good for the long-term perspective of this Zacks Rank #2 (Buy) stock and would help it to enhance its market share.

Investors interested in the real estate operations sector may consider stocks like HFF, Inc. (HF - Snapshot Report) and Reis, Inc. (REIS - Snapshot Report). Both these stocks sport the same rank as CBRE.
 

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