Zacks Investment Research Upgrades Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC) to “Buy”

Zacks Investment Research upgraded shares of Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC) from a hold rating to a buy rating in a research note released on Friday morning, Zacks.com reports. The brokerage currently has $86.00 price target on the construction company’s stock.

According to Zacks, “Shares of Jacobs have outperformed the industry year to date. The outperformance is likely to continue in the near term as well, as Jacobs reported better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter earnings. Earnings estimates for the fiscal year have been displaying an upward trend, depicting analysts’ optimism over the stock’s earnings growth potential. Jacobs’ fiscal third-quarter earnings and revenues grew 13% and 8%, respectively. The upsurge was mainly attributable to strong revenues and margins. Strong backlog, the KeyW acquisition, its transformed portfolio, and increased focus on infrastructure, aerospace, cybersecurity and technical building projects bode well for growth and profitability. However, higher transaction-related costs, stiff industry rivalry, and persistent headwinds in global energy and commodity markets remain concerns.”

Several other research firms have also recently issued reports on JEC. ValuEngine cut Jacobs Engineering Group from a buy rating to a hold rating in a research note on Thursday, August 1st. Barclays reissued an overweight rating and issued a $85.00 price target on shares of Jacobs Engineering Group in a research note on Tuesday, April 30th. DA Davidson increased their price target on Jacobs Engineering Group to $95.00 and gave the stock a buy rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 6th. Credit Suisse Group increased their price target on Jacobs Engineering Group from $85.00 to $100.00 and gave the stock an outperform rating in a research note on Tuesday, August 6th. Finally, Cowen reaffirmed a buy rating and set a $92.00 target price on shares of Jacobs Engineering Group in a research note on Wednesday, April 24th. One research analyst has rated the stock with a hold rating and eleven have issued a buy rating to the stock. The company presently has a consensus rating of Buy and an average price target of $86.88.

NYSE:JEC opened at $83.48 on Friday. Jacobs Engineering Group has a 1 year low of $55.17 and a 1 year high of $86.43. The stock has a market cap of $10.94 billion, a price-to-earnings ratio of 18.68, a PEG ratio of 1.52 and a beta of 1.41. The business has a fifty day moving average of $84.04 and a 200-day moving average of $77.48. The company has a debt-to-equity ratio of 0.17, a quick ratio of 1.36 and a current ratio of 1.36.

Jacobs Engineering Group (NYSE:JEC) last released its quarterly earnings results on Monday, August 5th. The construction company reported $1.40 earnings per share (EPS) for the quarter, topping the Thomson Reuters’ consensus estimate of $1.25 by $0.15. Jacobs Engineering Group had a return on equity of 11.11% and a net margin of 5.06%. The company had revenue of $3.17 billion during the quarter, compared to analysts’ expectations of $3.10 billion. During the same quarter in the prior year, the business posted $1.35 earnings per share. The company’s revenue for the quarter was up 8.0% compared to the same quarter last year. On average, equities research analysts predict that Jacobs Engineering Group will post 4.84 EPS for the current year.

The company also recently announced a quarterly dividend, which will be paid on Friday, August 23rd. Investors of record on Friday, July 26th will be paid a dividend of $0.17 per share. The ex-dividend date is Thursday, July 25th. This represents a $0.68 annualized dividend and a yield of 0.81%. Jacobs Engineering Group’s dividend payout ratio is currently 15.21%.

A number of hedge funds have recently made changes to their positions in JEC. Arcadia Investment Management Corp MI bought a new position in Jacobs Engineering Group during the second quarter valued at about $25,000. Hanson & Doremus Investment Management purchased a new stake in shares of Jacobs Engineering Group during the second quarter valued at $26,000. Sandy Spring Bank lifted its holdings in shares of Jacobs Engineering Group by 100.0% during the first quarter. Sandy Spring Bank now owns 400 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $30,000 after purchasing an additional 200 shares during the last quarter. Weaver Consulting Group purchased a new stake in shares of Jacobs Engineering Group during the first quarter valued at $32,000. Finally, First Manhattan Co. lifted its holdings in shares of Jacobs Engineering Group by 115.9% during the first quarter. First Manhattan Co. now owns 462 shares of the construction company’s stock valued at $34,000 after purchasing an additional 248 shares during the last quarter. 94.48% of the stock is owned by institutional investors and hedge funds.

About Jacobs Engineering Group

Jacobs Engineering Group Inc provides technical, professional, and construction services. The company's Aerospace, Technology, Environmental and Nuclear segment offers scientific, engineering, construction, nuclear, environmental, and technical support services to the aerospace, defense, technical, and automotive industries.

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