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Jacobs' Expansion Fails to Cheer Markets


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Construction and engineering services provider, Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (JEC - Analyst Report), failed to cheer markets despite the acquisitions made by its joint venture (JV) with the South African company, Matasis Investment Holdings (Proprietary) Limited. The JV – Jacobs Matasis (Proprietary) Limited – acquired Cape Town, SA-based, Ilitha Projects and Ilitha Staffing. However, no visible movement was noticed in the stock price subsequent to the announcement.

Ilitha Projects engages in providing project management and engineering, procurement and construction management services to its clients in the nuclear, oil and gas, marine mining and metals, chemicals and power markets. Ilitha Staffing, on the other hand, deals with providing technical contract staff sourcing and management services to its clients.

The acquisition is a strategic fit for the JV as it facilitates the company’s growth in South Africa and more specifically in its targeted Sub-Saharan African market.

Additionally, on the same day, Jacobs won a contract from England’s Environment Agency. The value of the Water and Environmental Management framework contract has not been disclosed. The four-year contract has an extendable option of two years.

Per the contract, Jacobs will be responsible for mapping and data management, strategic flood modeling, optioneering, economic appraisal and design.

Jacobs has been working with the Environment Agency for over 10 years, in the Agency’s flood and coastal risk management program. In Sep 2009, the company received a two-year extension on the National Engineering and Environmental Consultancy Agreement framework from the Agency.

Jacobs currently carries a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). Other stocks worth a look in the industry are Michael Baker Corp. , Foster Wheeler AG (FWLT - Analyst Report) and KBR, Inc. (KBR). While Michael Baker carries a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy), Foster Wheeler and KBR carry a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).

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