Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. has won a NASA contract worth up to $400 million. The deal is for up to five years at the White Sands Test Facility near Las Cruces, N.M., starting May 1.

The Pasadena engineering firm will provide the agency with technical services such as testing and evaluating spacecraft materials and components and rocket propulsion systems, supporting programs for space transportation and human space flight.

“Jacobs is the largest service provider to NASA other than the Boeings and Lockheed Martins that provide hardware-type support,” said Ward Johnson, the company’s senior vice president of aerospace and technology, who added that the firm is working on projects at all of the space agency’s locations, and this latest contract was a rebid for work Jacobs had done previously.

“We’ve had some great past performance there and have proven that we can bring the enterprise solution and technologies needed,” he said of the work Jacobs has been doing at White Sands for almost 15 years. “Luckily, NASA recognized that and selected us for this.”

Though it might seem like a hefty contract, the deal only has a guaranteed base period of two years with options to renew for an additional three. The money is also a drop in the bucket for the firm, which saw revenue of more than $12 billion last year.

“Look, you want as many of these as you can,” said John B. Rogers, a D.A. Davidson & Co. analyst in Lake Oswego, Ore.

While such government business provides a great source of recurring stable revenue and profit, the public sector isn’t growing as fast as the private sector right now, Rogers said. But Jacobs also serves commercial clients, meaning it can hedge against any stagnation in federal spending.

“The beauty of Jacobs is that they have a lot of different legs to the stool, and they’re positioned in a lot of different markets,” Rogers said.

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