CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript

Feb 13, 2019 • 08:30 am ET


CBRE Group, Inc. (NYSE:CBRE) Q4 2018 Earnings Conference Call Transcript


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Greetings and welcome to the CBRE Fourth Quarter Earnings call. (Operator Instructions) As a reminder, this conference is being recorded.

I'd now like to turn the conference over to Brad Burke with Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Brad Burke

Thank you, and welcome to CBRE's Fourth Quarter 2018 Earnings Conference Call. Earlier today, we issued a press release announcing our financial results and it is posted on our website On the Investor Relations page of our website, you will find a presentation slide deck that you can use to follow along with our prepared remarks.

This presentation contains forward-looking statements. These include statements regarding CBRE's future growth momentum, operations, market share, business outlook, investment levels, and financial performance expectations. These statements should be considered estimates only, and actual results may ultimately differ from these estimates. For a full discussion of the risks and other factors that may impact these forward-looking statements, please refer to our fourth quarter 2018 earnings report furnished on Form 8-K and our most recent annual and quarterly reports filed on Form 10-K and Form 10-Q, respectively.

During our remarks, we may refer to certain non-GAAP financial measures as defined by SEC regulations. Where required by these regulations, we have provided reconciliations to what we believe are the most directly comparable GAAP measures. These reconciliations together with explanations of these measures can be found within the appendix of this presentation. Additionally, all revenue and fee revenue growth rate percentages cited in our remarks are in local currency unless otherwise stated.

Please turn to slide three. Participating on our call today are Bob Sulentic, our President and Chief Executive Officer; and Jim Groch, our Chief Financial Officer.

Now please turn to slide four as I turn the call over to Bob.

Robert Sulentic

Thank you, Brad, and good morning, everyone. Our business ended the year with broad strength across geographies and business lines. The fourth quarter was highlighted by 16% fee revenue growth in our regional services businesses with positive operating leverage in those businesses, driven by Leasing and Occupier Outsourcing. This led to adjusted EPS growth of 26% for the quarter. For the year, adjusted EPS rose 20% on 15% growth in fee revenue. This marks our ninth consecutive year of double-digit increases in adjusted EPS. Our results for both the quarter and the year reflect the operational gains in capital investments we have made to enable our people to produce hard-to-replicate client outcomes.

Our Leasing business is a good example. We repositioned this business four years ago in response to client appetite for greater advisory services, and now have more than 1,000 dedicated specialists working alongside our transaction professionals. They advise clients on workplace design and employee experience, labor and location analytics, government incentives, and supply chain optimization among other things. No competitor has the capacity to invest in advisory capabilities to the same degree that CBRE has. This is creating competitive differentiation and contributing to strong leasing revenue growth, particularly with account-based clients.

While we were having one of