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Jacobs Engineering ( JEC) provides professional, technical and construction services. Its principal services comprise various aspects of engineering and construction, operations and maintenance, as well as scientific and specialty consulting services.

Jacobs has a good reputation for complex project planning, design and execution, and is one of the largest companies in the world in its field with $11 billion in annual revenue. The U.S. government is its biggest customer.

Standard & Poor's gives the company its highest rating: a five-star "strong buy" recommendation. "We expect orders to gradually pick up later in the fiscal year, especially for both upstream oil & gas and refining projects, chemical and power, and certain aerospace & defense, and buildings projects," it says in its research report on Jacobs.

For fiscal 2011, analysts estimate the company will earn $2.60 per share and that will grow by 16%, to $3.01 in 2012.

S&P's summation of other analysts' opinions finds seven "buys," four "buy/holds," nine "holds" and two "weak holds."

Jacobs' shares are up 14% this year and 34% over the past year. The company has a market value of $6.6 billion.

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