CB Richard Ellis Stock Downgraded

In yet another indicator that the commercial real estate market is wilting — to use what is likely a euphemism — an analyst downgraded CB Richard Ellis shares yesteday from "buy" to "hold."

"We do not expect that the commercial real estate market can turn around until the late 2009 to 2010 timeframe," Patrick Burton, a Citi Investment Research analyst, wrote to a client, according to the Associated Press, via CNN.com.

Ouch.

Mr. Burton downgraded the stock in advance of CBRE’s release of its first quarter revenue report, which, on the upside, revealed revenue of $1.2 billion for the first quarter of ’08, "a slight increase over the first quarter of 2007."

But the brokerage still didn’t meet market expectations, and "shares of the company fell 10 cents to $22.45 in late morning trading," according to another AP report.

The news shouldn’t dampen CBRE broker spirits all that much. After all, just last week, the firm got a whammy of an ego booster when it was revealed that in the upcoming May Fortune magazine issue, CBRE will become the first real estate brokerage ever to break the Fortune 500. It will be listed as number 404. Last year, CBRE ranked number 520.