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‘Customer obsession’ guides growth at Jabil

Margie Manning

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Mark Mondello, Jabil CEO

Jabil, the largest company headquartered in St. Petersburg, is wrapping up its fiscal year on a strong note.

The manufacturing services firm posted better-than-expected revenue and earnings for the third quarter of fiscal year 2021 and expects to end the year on Aug. 31 with $29.5 billion in revenue.

That would be a more than 50 percent increase from just four years ago, in FY 2017, when the company had net revenue of $19.1 billion.

The company has been on a three or four year path of intentional growth, focused not only on top-line revenue gains, but also on earnings, margins and cash flow, Mark Mondello, CEO, said during a conference call with analysts Thursday. Mondello offered a peek inside the business strategy.

“It’s a huge obsession around our customers. It’s about starting every conversation about what’s best for customers, not necessarily what’s best for Jabil. But then we have to do a lot of processing to be sure that’s what best for the customer aligns with our path forward for the next couple of years,” he said. “We ask ourselves all the time, are we providing great value for every single customer and every subset of customers. If we’re not providing the best value and they can find that value at a different price somewhere else, we encourage that … When we’re doing our job, when we’re providing good value, everything works.”

Mondello said he can envision Jabil being a $40 billion company at some point.

Industry sectors

For Q3 FY 2021, the three months ended May 31, Jabil (NYSE: JBL) reported $169.5 million in net income, or $1.12 a share, on revenue of $7.2 billion. It’s a big turnaround from a year ago, in the early days of the Covid-19 pandemic, when Jabil reported a nearly $51 million net loss, or 34 cents a share, on revenue of $6.3 billion. See a complete earnings report here.

Jabil’s hybrid water bottle

Jabil’s diversified portfolio provides resiliency and gives the company a competitive advantage, Mondello said.

He singled out several industry segments that Jabil serves.

Packaging. “There’s been a lot of focus on integration in terms of smart packaging and the environment and what we call eco-friendly packaging. We’re bullish on that,” Mondello said.

Jabil Packaging Solutions launched a hybrid water bottle made of recycled paper and plastic materials earlier this month.

Healthcare. Jabil moved into healthcare in a big way three years ago when it struck a deal to acquire 14 sites from Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Co. “Healthcare overall, whether on the pharma side, med device, diagnostics, etc., is performing above plan and we’ve got a pretty interesting path forward for FY 22,” Mondello said.

5G wireless and cloud. “I think that has good runway. I’m not overly concerned about demand evaporating, as long as we’re providing a great service with great quality to customers … I see the cloud markets as part of a robust ecosystem that the world is heavily reliant on, and I see 5G much the same although a bit different,” Mondello said. He expects a “reasonable uptick” in revenue from both in FY 22.

Healthcare, automotive, connected devices, 5G wireless, cloud and semi-cap end markets continue to show strong performance for the rest of the fiscal year and beyond, said Mike Dastoor, chief financial officer.

In more foundational areas of businesses, such as print, retail, mobility, networking and storage, Jabil has re-tooled, re-optimized and re-imagined longstanding partnerships, Dastoor said.

China

Mondello also said it was “too early to tell” about the impact of the U.S. Innovation and Competition Act. The  $250 billion measure is designed to ensure the U.S. remains competitive with China, according to CNBC.

“I can tell you that I think we’ll benefit from that indirectly,” Mondello said. “There’s nothing in our forward looking numbers that anticipates us participating in that directly, but we’ll see. But again, we’re staying well-informed on that because it has the potential to be an important bill for us.”

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