No. 20: Mum's the word for Jacobs

Tight-lipped company keeps winning and growing

Jacobs Engineering

Top 100 revenue: $1.3 billion

2007 revenue: $8.5 billion

2007 net earnings: $287.1 million

2006 revenue: $7.4 billion

2006 net earnings: $196.9 million

Employees: 52,000

http://www.jacobs.com

Build it and the customers will come, then
return. But don't ask Jacobs Engineering
Group about its keys to success. The company
isn't talking. For Jacobs, silence is golden ?
or at least profitable.

Spokeswoman Mary Bloom declined to
comment for this profile or provide access to
Jacobs officials, saying it is company policy
not to comment publicly on any aspect of its
business, except for information disseminated
through press releases.

The company, based in Pasadena, Calif.,
ranked No. 20 on the Top 100 list, with $1.3
billion in prime-contracting
revenue.

Founded in 1947, Jacobs focuses on
engineering, construction, operations and
maintenance.

In January, the company
won a three-year Air Force
deal with a potential maximum
value of $480 million.

Jacobs will provide
engineering and technology
acquisition support
services to Hanscom Air
Force Base in Bedford,
Mass., with other work to
be performed at locations
nationwide.

Jacobs' tasks at Hanscom include logistics
support, modeling and simulation, configuration,
and data management. The company
will also be responsible for test and evaluation,
security engineering and certification,
and assistance for the Air Force's Electronic
Systems Center. Jacobs has been providing
technical support to the Air Force for more
than 55 years, including systems engineering
at the service's acquisition and logistics centers.

On the civilian side, Jacobs has a threeyear
contract with NASA through the end
of the summer for test operation services at
the John C. Stennis Space Center in
Mississippi and Marshall Space Flight
Center in Alabama. If the award's two-year
optional extension is exercised, the
contract value could be as high as
$128 million.

Jacobs said it holds the bulk of the
U.S. government's major rocket-testing
contracts. In addition to the
NASA commitments at Stennis and
Marshall, other contracts include
work at the Arnold Engineering
Development Center at Arnold Air Force
Base, Tenn.; the Air Force
Research Laboratory at
Edwards Air Force Base,
Calif.; the Naval Air
Warfare Center Weapons
Division at China Lake,
Calif.; and NASA's White
Sands Test Facility near
Las Cruces, N.M.

Andrew Kaplowitz, a
vice president and senior
analyst at Lehman Brothers in New York,
said Jacobs is serious about repeat business,
and making it a priority has paid off for the
company.

"Most of the industries I cover are transactional,"
Kaplowitz said. "Jacobs has a relationship-
based model. The work they get is
follow-on business with existing customers.
That allows the risk profile to be lower.
You're not bidding on price; you're bidding
on reputation."

Kaplowitz said Jacobs is the only company
he follows that has consistently shown earnings-
per-share growth of at least 15 percent
each year in the past 10. Organic growth
accounts for 10 percent, with the remaining
5 percent coming from acquisitions.

One of the notable 2007 Jacobs acquisitions
was Edwards and Kelcey Inc., an engineering,
design, planning and construction
management firm with expertise in transportation,
planning and environmental
impact; communications technology; buildings
and facilities; and land development.

Another acquisition was John F. Brown Co.,
an airport management consulting firm that
specializes in financial planning and business
advisory services. A third acquisition
was the engineering, design, planning and
construction management firm Carter and
Burgess Inc. The terms of the three deals
were not disclosed.

"Jacobs seems like it has acquisitions
down to a science," Kaplowitz said. "They
buy these businesses and fold them in. That
leads to increased earnings power over time."

At the end of the first quarter of 2008,
Jacobs said its contract backlog was
$16.2 billion, which includes a professional
services component of $7.6 billion. A year
ago, the comparable figures were $10.7 billion
and $5.8 billion, respectively.

Reader Comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

What is your e-mail address?

My e-mail address is:

Do you have a password?

Forgot your password? Click here
close
SEARCH
contracts DB

Trending

  • Dive into our Contract Award database

    In an exclusive for WT Insider members, we are collecting all of the contract awards we cover into a database that you can sort by contractor, agency, value and other parameters. You can also download it into a spreadsheet. Read More

  • Is SBA MIA on contractor fraud? Nick Wakeman

    Editor Nick Wakeman explores the puzzle of why SBA has been so silent on the latest contractor fraud scandal when it has been so quick to act in other cases. Read More

Webcasts

  • How Do You Support the Project Lifecycle?

    How do best-in-class project-based companies create and actively mature successful organizations? They find the right mix of people, processes and tools that enable them to effectively manage the project lifecycle. REGISTER for this webinar to hear how properly managing the cycle of capture, bid, accounting, execution, IPM and analysis will allow you to better manage your programs to stay on scope, schedule and budget. Learn More!

  • Sequestration, LPTA and the Top 100

    Join Washington Technology’s Editor-in-Chief Nick Wakeman as he analyzes the annual Top 100 list and reveals critical insights into how market trends have impacted its composition. You'll learn what movements of individual companies means and how the market overall is being impacted by the current budget environment, how the Top 100 rankings reflect the major trends in the market today and how the biggest companies in the market are adapting to today’s competitive environment. Learn More!