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No. of Recommendations: 2

Colliers International (NASDAQ: CIGI) is sticking to our investment thesis: strong revenue growth, even stronger EBITDA growth, and ongoing strategic acquisitions. I expect to see more of exactly these things in the years to come, as Colliers pursues its successful roll-up strategy across the globe over the next couple decades. Management expects to double the size of its business by 2020.

First-quarter revenue grew 12%, or 17% on a currency-neutral basis due to significant foreign-exchange headwinds. Adjusted EBITDA climbed to $22.2 million, for growth of 52%, as EBITDA margin strengthened 160 basis points to 5.9%. The performance across geographies, however, was more spotty, as the company builds out its capabilities in Asia and EMEA (Europe, Middle East, Africa). Americas continued very strong, with revenue up 15.6%. While Asia Pacific grew revenue 5.6%, EBITDA slipped from $5.9 million to $3.3 million. And EMEA revenue jumped 21%, though EBITDA went from $0 in last year's quarter to a loss of $0.6 million this time.

By service line, Colliers continued to play to its strategic strength, moving more business toward outsourcing and advisory, which offers more recurring revenue and gets the company into the C-suite of decision-makers regularly. That segment grew 21%, or 26% on a currency-neutral basis. Sales brokerage and lease brokerage were up 5% and 8%, respectively. You will continue to see Colliers grow outsourcing and advisory over the coming years.

Finally, Colliers continued to acquire small rivals to bolster its own offerings. Acquisitions included rivals in central Florida, London, Montreal, and the Netherlands. In making acquisitions, Chairman and CEO Jay Hennick has exactly the value focus that we want. On the conference call he declared that he loves to buy rivals when there's more uncertainty in the market, since he can buy cheaper. He's always got his eye on rivals, and acquisitions will form a cornerstone of Colliers' growth strategy for the long term.

Despite the nice pop in the stock following earnings, it remains an excellent time to buy the stock. The company has a multi-decade growth ramp under a very capable CEO. Colliers remains a Buy First.

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