What's Rogers' favorite now? You've probably never heard of it: Big Board-listed Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL
), a provider of real estate and investment-management services to multinational companies, including Microsoft (MSFT
), Bank of America (BAC
), and Rockwell Automation. Jones serves not only as broker but also as manager for clients' properties worldwide. Multinationals now tend to outsource the operation of their real estate properties--a boon to Jones, says Rogers. Jones operates in 100 cities in 33 countries. Ariel has raised its stake in Jones to 17.7%, up from 6.2% in September. The stock hit a low of 12 in March, 2001.
Jones lost 55 cents a share last year, on sales of $881 million, in part because of the economic slump. Now trading at 17, Jones sells at just over 10 times estimated 2002 earnings of $1.65 a share, on revenues of $900 million, notes Franklin Morton, Ariel's research director. In 2003, he sees earnings rising to $2, on sales of $955 million. Ariel's 12-month price target for the stock is 27. By Gene G. Marcial