Based on the aggregated intelligence of 170,000-plus investors participating in Motley Fool CAPS, the Fool's free investing community, construction services specialist Jacobs Engineering (NYSE: JEC) has earned a respected four-star ranking.

With that in mind, let's take a closer look at Jacobs' business and see what CAPS investors are saying about the stock right now.

Jacobs facts

Headquarters (founded)

Pasadena, Calif. (1947)

Market Cap

$4.86 billion


Construction and engineering

Trailing-12-Month Revenue

$10.13 billion


CEO Craig Martin

CFO John Prosser Jr.

Return on Equity (average, past 3 years)



$941.68 million / $94.13 million


Fluor (NYSE: FLR)

Foster Wheeler (Nasdaq: FWLT)


Shaw Group (NYSE: SHAW)

Sources: Capital IQ (a division of Standard & Poor's) and Motley Fool CAPS.

On CAPS, 97% of the 1,090 members who have rated Jacobs believe the stock will outperform the S&P 500 going forward. These bulls include CuriousDonkey and Ivan0310.

Just last month, CuriousDonkey highlighted Jacobs as a winning selection: "As the economy recovers, Jacobs will have opened a larger gap with its competitors. Look for Jacobs to continue to capitalize on key wins. (Coming from someone in the industrial automation industry, tied directly to Jacobs' sales)."

Jacobs' strong reputation in complex project planning, coupled with sound financials, continue to support the stock's four-star CAPS status. While Jacobs isn't the most profitable player in the space, its consistent midteen returns on equity are particularly solid given its lack of debt. In fact, Jacobs currently sports a financial leverage ratio (1.7) lower than rivals Fluor (2.1), Foster Wheeler (3.3), KBR (2.4), and Shaw (3.6). Additionally, with the shares lagging each of those rivals over the past six months, Jacobs could be a timely opportunity, to boot.

CAPS member Ivan0310 sums up the bull case:

Jacobs has continued to trim its operating costs through this current economic downturn; moreover, it has shown that it is still capable of winning multi-million and billion dollar jobs such that its revenues and backlogs haven't been hurt as much as others. That coupled with its low debt and high liquidity, Jacobs is a good bet for long-term growth.

What do you think about Jacobs, or any other stock for that matter? If you want to retire rich, you need to put together the best portfolio you can. Owning exceptional stocks is a surefire way to secure your financial future, and on Motley Fool CAPS, thousands of investors are working every day to find them. CAPS is 100% free, so get started!

Fool contributor Brian Pacampara owns no position in any of the companies mentioned. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.

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