NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jones Lang LaSalle (NYSE: JLL) has been upgraded by TheStreet Ratings from hold to buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its robust revenue growth, largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures and increase in net income. We feel these strengths outweigh the fact that the company has had lackluster performance in the stock itself. Highlights from the ratings report include:
- Despite its growing revenue, the company underperformed as compared with the industry average of 24.1%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues rose by 20.1%. This growth in revenue does not appear to have trickled down to the company's bottom line, displaying stagnant earnings per share.
- JONES LANG LASALLE INC reported flat earnings per share in the most recent quarter. This company has reported somewhat volatile earnings recently. But, we feel it is poised for EPS growth in the coming year. During the past fiscal year, JONES LANG LASALLE INC increased its bottom line by earning $3.69 versus $3.48 in the prior year. This year, the market expects an improvement in earnings ($4.50 versus $3.69).
- The current debt-to-equity ratio, 0.31, is low and is below the industry average, implying that there has been successful management of debt levels. Although the company had a strong debt-to-equity ratio, its quick ratio of 0.88 is somewhat weak and could be cause for future problems.
- The company, on the basis of net income growth from the same quarter one year ago, has underperformed when compared to that of the S&P 500 and greatly underperformed compared to the Real Estate Management & Development industry average. The net income increased by 0.4% when compared to the same quarter one year prior, going from $84.56 million to $84.92 million.
- The gross profit margin for JONES LANG LASALLE INC is rather low; currently it is at 15.30%. Regardless of JLL's low profit margin, it has managed to increase from the same period last year. Despite the mixed results of the gross profit margin, the net profit margin of 7.40% trails the industry average.