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And now I'll turn the call over to John Prosser, CFO of Jacobs, who will discuss financial results.
John W. Prosser
Thank you, Patty, and welcome, everyone. I will go over the financial highlights briefly and then I'll turn it over to Craig Martin, our CEO, to go through the business overview and our going forward strategies.
Going to Slide 4, just a recap of the third quarter financial highlights. We did report diluted EPS of $0.76. This was in line with expectations, I believe. Included in the $0.76 was about $0.01 that related to some favorable tax activity in the quarter. While we've been bringing our tax rate down a little bit over the last couple of years, we had an extra benefit this quarter that's just a onetime event. But even at the $0.75, it's still right in line with what the expectation for the quarter was, I believe.
Net earnings were $97.9 million. Backlog increased nicely to $15.6 billion. That's up from $15.1 billion last quarter and represents, if you look over the trailing 12, a book-to-bill of 1.15. So a 15% growth is a nice trend in the backlog, so a 15% growth in the book-to-bill.
We continue to have a strong balance sheet. The net cash position was $386 million. Total cash was just under $900 million and we're maintaining our guidance from last quarter at the range of $2.80 to $3 for the fiscal year '12.
Turning to Slide 5, this just tracks the earnings over the last few years. More importantly, we show the 10-year compounded growth rate for each of those years. And as we talked a lot, our target and our expectations is that we should be able to grow over the long term our bottom line 15%. And if you look at those bars even through this downturn, we're still right there at that 15% growth rate.