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S&P 500   5,137.08
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Lawyers who successfully argued Musk pay package was illegal seek $5.6 billion in Tesla stock
This is the #1 Stock to Buy for the AI Tidal Wave (Ad)
Sports analytics may be outnumbered when it comes to artificial intelligence
Chicago 'mansion' tax to fund homeless services stuck in legal limbo while on the ballot
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
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Head Start preschools aim to fight poverty, but their teachers struggle to make ends meet
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
What to watch for as China's major political meeting of the year gets underway
South Korean doctors hold massive anti-government rally over medical school recruitment plan
S&P 500   5,137.08
DOW   39,087.38
QQQ   445.61
Lawyers who successfully argued Musk pay package was illegal seek $5.6 billion in Tesla stock
This is the #1 Stock to Buy for the AI Tidal Wave (Ad)
Sports analytics may be outnumbered when it comes to artificial intelligence
Chicago 'mansion' tax to fund homeless services stuck in legal limbo while on the ballot
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
Norway's hospitalized king gets a pacemaker in Malaysia after falling ill during vacation
Head Start preschools aim to fight poverty, but their teachers struggle to make ends meet
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
What to watch for as China's major political meeting of the year gets underway
South Korean doctors hold massive anti-government rally over medical school recruitment plan
S&P 500   5,137.08
DOW   39,087.38
QQQ   445.61
Lawyers who successfully argued Musk pay package was illegal seek $5.6 billion in Tesla stock
This is the #1 Stock to Buy for the AI Tidal Wave (Ad)
Sports analytics may be outnumbered when it comes to artificial intelligence
Chicago 'mansion' tax to fund homeless services stuck in legal limbo while on the ballot
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
Norway's hospitalized king gets a pacemaker in Malaysia after falling ill during vacation
Head Start preschools aim to fight poverty, but their teachers struggle to make ends meet
Critical asset just had biggest fall on record (Ad)
What to watch for as China's major political meeting of the year gets underway
South Korean doctors hold massive anti-government rally over medical school recruitment plan

Jacobs Solutions Q4 2023 Earnings Call Transcript


Listen to Conference Call

Participants

Corporate Executives

  • Jonathan Evans
    Vice President of Corporate Development, Investor Relations
  • Bob Pragada
    Chief Executive Officer
  • Claudia Jaramillo
    Chief Financial Officer

Presentation

Operator

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for standing-by. My name is Sheryl and I will be your conference operator today. At this time, I would like to welcome everyone to the Jacobs Fiscal Fourth Quarter 2023 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions] Thank you.

I would now like to turn the call over to Jonathan Evans, Vice President of Corporate Development, Investor Relations. Please go ahead.

Jonathan Evans
Vice President of Corporate Development, Investor Relations at Jacobs Solutions

Thank you, good morning. Our earnings announcement was filed this morning and we have posted a slide presentation on our website which we'll reference during the call. Our 10-K will be filed later today. I would like to refer you to slide two of the presentation material for information about our forward-looking statements and non-GAAP financial measures.

Turning to the agenda on slide three. Speaking on today's call will be Jacobs CEO, Bob Pragada and CFO, Claudia Jaramillo. I will begin by providing an overview of recent activities in summarizing highlights from our fourth quarter results. Claudia will provide a more in-depth discussion of our financial metrics, as well as a review of our balance sheet and cash flow. Finally, Bob will provide details on our updated outlook along with closing remarks and then we'll open up the call for questions.

With that, I'll turn it over to our CEO, Bob Pragada.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Thanks, Jonathan. Good day, everyone, thank you for joining us to discuss our fourth quarter and fiscal 2023 business performance and 2024 outlook. Our team has shown remarkable strength, adaptability and dedication and continuing to deliver outstanding results to our clients. I'm proud of our people for continuing to drive our culture of carrying to new heights.

Over the past couple of quarters, we have shared our intention to simplify our business model, optimize our cost structure and accelerate profitable growth and margin expansion. Today marks a key turning point as we boldly move forward. I want to provide an update on our previously-announced intent to separate the CMS business on slide four, before I move on to our fourth quarter results.

As we communicated following a robust evaluation of all opportunities, we are excited to announce the creation of a new leading government services player. Jacobs will be separating our industry-leading government services businesses, Critical Mission Solutions and the Cyber & Intelligence unit of Divergent Solutions by the way of a spin-off to Jacobs shareholders. And then combining those assets with Amentum, through a merger which has been structured as Reverse Morris Trust. This combination is intended to be largely tax-free for Jacobs shareholders.

Turning to slide five. The combination creates a combined government technology services leader within approximately $13 billion in revenue and approximately $1.1 billion of combined adjusted EBITDA including $50 million to $70 million of net synergies, expected to be realized by year two. Jacobs shareholders will own 51% and Jacobs will retain a stake equal to between 7.5% to 12% of the combined company, based on achievement of operating profit targets prior to close. Jacobs will also receive a $1 billion cash dividend subject to customary adjustments, as well as an additional value through the disposition of our retained stake within 12 months of click.

As part of our continued separation efforts, we concluded it was the best, it was best to include the majority of our Divergent Solutions business, including the Cyber & Intelligence unit in the separation perimeter, owing to the strategic synergies, shared cost and operational overlap with CMS. We will retain the infrastructure-related software assets of Divergent Solutions given their strong strategic fit with our critical infrastructure, Advanced Facilities and PA Consulting businesses.

We believe this combination of two premium industry leaders, who share strong operating platforms, high-performance culture and a breadth of expertise offer shareholders the best opportunity to realize the long-term value. The combined business has the ability to drive significant innovation and growth with meaningful cost synergies, added scale and diverse end-market exposure and supported by secular growth trends.

After a comprehensive review of all inbound inquiries, we believe the transaction is in the best interest of the company and our stakeholders. The transaction has been unanimously approved by the Jacobs' Board, as well as the financial sponsors of Amentum and is not subject to any other shareholder approvals. The transaction is expected to close in the second half of fiscal year 2024, subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval. For more details regarding the structure of the deal, I invite you to review the materials we published earlier.

Moving to slide six, which shows our multi-year transformation. As part of this strategic separation, which results in a more focused Jacobs, we are concurrently announcing a cost optimization plan to be executed over the next 24 months, during which time we will target over 300 basis points of margin expansion as compared to our as reported fiscal year 2023 results, driving expect -- driving an expected adjusted EBITDA margin of at least 13.8% in fiscal year 2025 for pro-forma Jacobs. Claudia will share more details in her prepared remarks.

Post-transaction, Jacobs will be a well-capitalized, pure-play critical infrastructure and sustainability leader, with a strong balance sheet and significant growth potential. Fiscal 2023 mark records for revenue and free-cash flow generation for Jacobs and we look-forward to 2024 as we began to chart our path forward as two leading independent companies.

Turning to slide seven and Q4. I'm pleased to report another record quarter as measured by both revenue and operating profit. I would like to once again reiterate that this growth is entirely organic. Strong cash conversion remains a hallmark of our business model and remain robust in Q4, allowing us to drive record fiscal year 2023 free cash flow in order to return capital to shareholders, while investing behind our growth accelerators, Climate Response, Data Solutions and Consulting & Advisory.

We recorded a 104% underlying free-cash flow conversion to adjusted net income in FY 2023 on a record year of $837 million in free cash flow generation. We expect to generate greater than 100% underlying free cash flow conversion again in FY 2024, before the impact of restructuring transaction separation cost. Our underlying business and outlook remains very healthy and we continue to be excited about robust growth opportunities in all our end-markets.

Turning to slide eight. Our people and place of line of business delivered accelerating top line growth, with adjusted net revenue up 11% year-over-year and adjusted operating profit up 12% year-over-year. Claudia will provide further details on the significant growth we are experiencing in our global business units. We continue to see widespread positive indicators, with a gross profit and backlog growth of 8% year-over-year. Once again, our pipeline continues to grow faster than our top line, which provides visibility and confidence in our expectation that growth can persist mid to high single-digit organically in FY 2024.

Looking back at FY 2023, I want to highlight the significant achievements of our P&PS business with double-digit organic OP growth in every quarter. Water continues to be a pillar of our business. Now the top 30 wins in the quarter, nine were in the water sector, of those wins, we wanted to highlight two that showcase our digital and data capabilities. Firstly, at the City of Farmington New Mexico wastewater and surface water treatment plant, our data enabled product Aqua DNA is a key part of the solution to provide resiliency efforts and improve energy efficiency.

Secondly, for Boston Water & Sewer commission, we are leveraging our AI model that annualizes assets that are most likely to fail, helping our client create data-driven maintenance and replacement plants. In the energy transition space, Jacobs has been selected as the program manager for the season crop $2.85 effort to decarbonize its steel mill in Duisburg, Germany, with a new green hydrogen power plant. The site is Europe's largest steel mill and the EPRA represents one of the largest industrial decarbonization projects worldwide.

It is also a testament to the diversity of our expertise. In transportation, our largest market, we continue to see broad-based momentum from IIJA related funding. Overall, IIJA related pipeline has increased approximately 20% year-over-year. In Q4, we were selected to lead and manage the ten-year renovation of the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, international terminal, emphasizing upgrades, enhanced mobility and energy efficiency to position Seattle as a global tourism and business hub.

Internationally, we continue to see high levels of activity in the Middle-East. For example, in climate response, we are providing program management services to the Saudi Arabia National Center for Environmental Compliance. The work forms part of their ongoing environmental remediation program to repair damage to terrestrial and coastal environment. Our environmental expertise is truly global and we continue to see a robust opportunity set related to our clients climate-related challenge.

In CMS we performed very well in Q4 to cap off a great year. CMS Q4 revenue was 7% higher year-over-year and operating profit increased 26% behind 128 bps of margin expansion. It's pipeline and growth outlook remain robust with major award prospects in FY 2024 and minimal forecasted re-compete pursuits. CMS was awarded a new project management resources framework contract with EDF Nuclear Generation, licensee of eight nuclear power stations, which account for approximately 16% of the UK's electricity output.

PA Consulting continues to post strong results with 13% revenue growth and nearly 21% operating profit margin, despite a very challenging macro environment. While we remain cognizant of the weakness that some consulting peers are seeing, we continue to be pleased with strong operational performance delivered by the PA team. Utilization has improved and during Q4, PA announced the appointment of Christian Norris as its new CEO. Christian formerly led PA's life sciences unit is a respected leader, both internally and externally and has creative idea to take the Jacobs partnership with PA to new heights.

For example, the power of our relationship is driving further opportunities as evidenced in our recent award to the Copenhagen Metro framework. Together with PA, we are bringing our enterprise digital tools AI solutions and deep knowledge of the rail sector to support the Copenhagen Metro, as it continues to deliver modern, future-ready infrastructure to meet the city's fast-growing population and urban travel demand.

Our Divergent Solutions operating unit delivered a strong quarter with 3% adjusted net revenue growth and 58% year-over-year growth in operating profit. In the virgin, we are a leader in space, innovation, with the introduction of Mango Two, a revolutionary radio-frequency signal detection system that utilizes cutting-edge AI and machine-learning analytics emphasizing affordability. An example of the leading IP portfolio that reinforces independent CMS as a formidable player in the space arena.

Turning to slide nine. In summary, we are extremely well-positioned for growth across all the sectors we serve, building off our established leadership position and proven track-record of operational excellence. We are excited to turn the page on this next chapter in Jacobs history where we will be creating two leading independent companies.

Looking to slide 10, Independent Jacobs, a leader in the majority of sector in which we operate and a global leader in the overall industry. With today's announcement, we are enthusiastic about the opportunity to further simplify our business structure, optimize our cost base and accelerate growth and margin improvement in the quarters and years ahead.

Now, I turn the call over to Claudia, to review our financial results in further detail.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Thank you, Bob. Turning to slide 11 for a financial overview both our fourth quarter results. Fourth quarter gross revenue grew 10.5% year-over-year and adjusted net revenue grew 8.9%. GAAP operating profit was $278 million for the quarter and included $52 million of amortization from acquired intangibles, $43 million of all transactions separated -- related and restructuring costs and $11 million non-cash charge related to decrease in our real-estate footprint.

The transaction separation related and restructuring cost of $43 million are primarily related to advisory and other costs associated with the separation of CMS. As we go-forward, costs will now include expenses to be incurred in connection with the separation. Looking to fiscal year 2024, we expect to incur approximately $275 million in one-time cost related to the separation and associated cost optimization actions. These costs are largely unavoidable in separation and transaction service side, but I want to reiterate that post separation, it will be a key focus of ours to minimize one-time adjustment inclusive of restructuring cost.

Our adjusted operating margin was 11%, up 14 basis-points year-over-year. I'll discuss the underlying dynamics during the reporting segment review. GAAP EPS from continuing operations was $1.25 per share and included a $0.27 impact related to the amortization charge of acquired intangibles, $0.23 from transaction restructuring and other related cost, a $0.05 non-cash impairment charge related to reducing our real-estate footprint and a $0.10 adjustment to align to our annual adjusted effective tax rate. I refer you to slide 13 for more details on these adjustments.

Excluding these items, fourth quarter adjusted EPS was $1.90, up 6% year-over-year. Q4 adjusted EBITDA was $384 million and was up 10% year-over-year, representing 11.1% of adjusted net revenue. The company's US GAAP effective tax-rate for continuing operations is 21% for the fiscal year 2023. Our US GAAP and adjusted effective tax-rate for the quarter and year include certain tax charges for deferred tax valuation allowances and audit assessment.

In the fourth quarter, these amount to an EPS impact of $0.06 per share and that's the result, fiscal year 2023 adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations reflects a 21.6% adjusted effective tax-rate. Finally, backlog was up 4% year-over-year. The revenue book-to-bill ratio was just over one times with our gross profit and backlog increasing 8% year-over-year.

Moving to slide 12 for a brief recap of our full-year 2023 performance. Fiscal year gross revenue grew 10% year-over-year and net revenue grew 7%. GAAP operating profit was $1.1 billion, up significantly year-over-year, driven primarily by strong growth in gross profit, while holding G&A relatively flat. GAAP EPS was $5.31 and adjusted EPS was $7.20, up 7% and 4% year-over-year respectively. Adjusted operating profit grew 9% and was up 11% on a constant-currency basis. Both revenue and adjusted operating profit increased year-over-year in all of our business segments. Operating profit margins expanded 20 basis points to 10.8% driven by strong underlying performance.

Adjusted EBITDA was $1.44 billion, up 5% and up 7% in constant-currency. As a percentage of adjusted net revenue, adjusted EBITDA was 10.8%. We expect modest adjusted operating margin expansion in fiscal 2024, driven by a combination of a higher-margin revenue mix and lower corporate G&A. However, we expect an even greater uplift in margins post separation as we streamline our operating model and cost structure. On a trailing 12 months basis, fiscal year 2023 book-to-bill was approximately 1.1 times.

Regarding the performance of our lines of business, let's turn to slide 13 for Q4 performance and 14 for full-year performance. Starting with People and Places Solutions. P&PS continues to see solid momentum, delivering strong revenue and operating profit result. Q4 adjusted net revenue was up 11% year-over-year. Growth was consistently strong across all business units. Europe rebounded positively after being our weakest region year-to-date and we saw continued strength in the Middle-East, Americas and Asia-Pacific.

Backlog was relatively flat sequentially, although gross margin and backlog was up 8% year-over-year, as we continue to focus on improving business quality. P&PS Q4 operating profit was up 12% driven by strong growth, maintaining healthy gross margin and solid G&A management resulted in an adjusted operating margin of 15%, up 16 basis-points year-over-year.

For the full-year, adjusted operating profit was up 16% and adjusted operating margins were 14.6%, up 100 basis-points year-over-year. Our P&PS Americas unit, which is our largest by revenue benefited from legislative drivers in healthy state and local budget, continuing to propel clients spending. Internationally, Asia-Pacific and the Middle-East continue to be bright spots in the portfolio, supported by giga cities and strategic warfare pursuits. Additionally, our European business showed a positive sequential growth.

Now moving to Critical Mission Solutions. Q4 revenue was up 7% year-over-year and backlog is up 8% year-over-year and the business continues to demonstrate the strong win rate against a very healthy pipeline in all of its core focus area. CMS operating margins were up 128 basis-points year-over-year. For the full-year, margins were roughly flat, while operating profit increased 6% year-over-year. Notably, margins continued to rebound throughout the year as forecast.

Moving to the [Technical Issues] Solutions. Adjusted net revenue increased 3% year-over-year in Q4, as we remain focused on portfolio [Technical Issues]. We expect growth to accelerate from year end levels as investments mature and lower-margin contracts roll-out of backlog. Operating margins for the quarter was up 10.1%, was 10.1%, a 50 basis-point sequential improvement.

Turning to PA Consulting. Revenue from PA was up 13% year-over-year in Q4 and increased 4% year-over-year in fiscal year 2023. Based on booking trends, we expect revenue growth to show a positive trend in fiscal year 2024, while remaining cautious of the macro risk as the UK goes through an election cycle.

PA's Q4 operating profit was 20.6%, up 122 basis-points year-over-year and up 21% year-over-year. Utilization continues to improve and we expect operating margins to be over 20% for the medium-term. Our adjusted unallocated corporate costs were $60 million in Q4, roughly flat sequentially and consistent with our guidance. In conjunction with the CMS separation, we have initiated a comprehensive evaluation of our cost structure under a more streamlined business model.

However, despite initial cost actions taken, we will carry temporary costs associated with supporting the entirety of Jacobs, including the businesses to be separate. We estimate that we are carrying approximately $40 million in temporary cost throughout this transition period. This allows us the opportunity to reinforce our commitment to our client and enhance business resiliency. We are confident that these efforts will contribute to a stronger foundation and continued excellence in serving our clients as two leading independent company.

Turning to slide 15 to discuss our balance sheet and cash flow. We posted a very strong quarter of cash flow generation, which is indicative of the quality of our earnings. Operating cash flow was $280 [Phonetic] million and free cash flow was $180 million. As a result we were able to deliver above our anticipated 100% reported and adjusted cash flow conversion target for the year, with 104% underlying cash progression.

During fiscal year 2023, we returned 50% of our free cash flow to shareholders for a total of $480 million through both share repurchases and dividends. Though we were unable to repurchase shares in the quarter due to the CMS separation, we utilized cash flow to strategically pay down floating-rate debt, ensuring a more robust financial position for the future. This disciplined approach aligns with our commitment to long-term financial stability and value-creation for our shareholders.

We ended the quarter with cash of $927 million and gross debt of $2.9 billion, resulting in just over $1.9 billion of net-debt. Our Q4 net-debt to 2023 adjusted EBITDA of approximately 1.4 times remains a clear indication of the continued strength of our balance sheet. We remain committed to maintain an investment-grade credit -- credit profile both today and as a more focused business post our announced CMS separation.

In August, we completed the offering of $600 million in senior unsecured notes due 2028, with a fixed-rate of 6.35%. This allowed us to repay a portion of the amounts outstanding under our revolving credit facility. As of the end of Q4, approximately 35% of our debt is tied to floating-rate and our weighted-average interest rate was approximately 5%. We intend to opportunistically retire floating-rate debt in coming quarters.

For your benefit, in the appendix of the presentation, we have included additional detail on our debt and quarterly interest expense. Given our strong balance sheet and free cash flow, we remain committed to returning cash to shareholders. On November 9th, we paid a $0.26 dividend representing a 13% year-over-year increase revenue.

Finally, I wanted to highlight our cost optimization plan shared on slide 16. We recognize that our cost structure is high and we see opportunities to optimize in the coming quarters and post CMS separation. We have identified over $90 million in run-rate savings, including lower corporate unallocated cost to the specific measures that we are starting to action. We expect to reduce our corporate unallocated costs from around $60 million per quarter to approximately $50 million per quarter, including full elimination of stranded cost post separation.

We are streamlining our operating model, with an eye towards positioning us for growth and cost-efficiency, while staying focused on our clients. While we will not yet comment on long-term growth and margin expectations beyond 2025 strategic plan, we believe we can deliver over 300 basis-points of adjusted EBITDA margin expansion from fiscal 2023 as reported margins to fiscal 2025 for standalone Jacobs. This result in unexpected adjusted EBITDA margins for standalone Jacobs of at least 13.8% in fiscal year 2025. This is a bold undertaken as it is our longer-term aspiration to deliver best-in class industry margin.

In closing, Bob and I are committed to three things over the next few quarters. First, driving efficiencies in our business and maximizing our profitability as demonstrated by the margin target. Second, positioning our business with the financial resources needed for multi year free cash flow goals. Third, strength and discipline in deploying our shareholder capital.

Thank you and I will turn the call over to Bob.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Thank you, Claudia. Turning to slide 16, as we discuss router remarks, we remain committed to accelerating robust growth opportunities ahead for all businesses. Given today's global macro uncertainty that strength is more relevant than ever, as we plan for the future as two independent companies. It's crucial to emphasize that the underlying fundamentals of our business have never been stronger.

Turning to fiscal year 2024 outlook, we expect adjusted EBITDA of $1.53 billion to $1.6 billion with an adjusted EPS of $7.70 to $8.20, representing a 9% and 10% growth at the midpoints respectively. This outlook incorporates the full-year contributions of the businesses to be separate. We expect fiscal year 2024 effective tax rate of 22%. As Claudia previously mentioned, we will carry temporarily elevated overhead costs needed to support CMS during the separation, including IT and corporate support. This coupled with historically -- historical seasonality will have an approximately 10% negative effect year-over-year on adjusted EPS in Q1. We believe these costs are necessary to continue to support our clients as we progress through this transition period.

This temporary cost is non-recurring and shall not be viewed as a reflection of a standalone -- our standalone company earnings power. We are well-positioned to accelerate profitable growth in the years to come, as we seek to compound per share value for our shareholders. We continue to be energized and excited about the future for Jacobs and CMS and remain confident in our plan for long-term value-creation.

Operator, we will now turn the call over for questions.


Questions and Answers

Operator

[Operator Instructions] Your first question comes from the line of Jerry Revich with Goldman Sachs. Jerry, your line is open.

Jerry Revich
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Yes, hi, good morning everyone and congratulations on all the strong work here. Can I just ask you in terms of margin expansion targets. Can we just flush that out a little bit and just talk a little bit more about the timing how back-end loaded is that 2024 versus 2025 and if we just unpack the pieces a little bit more in terms of just the buckets of the 300 basis-points relative sizes, that would be helpful. Thank you.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Hi, Jerry. So I will like to -- you have some of the details on this slide and so let me just go over the details of the slide. So you have first the component of the stranded cost, so that one will happen after the separation, so that's roughly $50 million that you see there. So then you have one that we started taking action, which is really the operating model and that will obviously accelerate after the separation, but we've already taken action on that, so you'll see some of that over time in 2024 and accelerate after the separation. And then as I mentioned in my prepared remarks, you have the overhead or the unallocated corporate that we normally see it as a separate line and I talked about $60 million down to $50 million. We will carry some temporary cost to support CMS as we prepared for -- for the independent company or the combined company. And that one as well you will accelerate in 2025. So in summary, you'll see a little bit in 2024 accelerate after the separation.

If I want to give you the nature of what is that, is really the a lot of the support is IT, the support layers and just in general as simpler management structure and support.

Jerry Revich
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Okay, super. And then the core underlying People and Places cadence, that's better than that. Can you just expand on how that looks versus what you folks laid out to us in the 2025 plan? How -- what's progressing faster or slower than expectations relative to the segment margin ramp that you laid out just over a year-ago?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, what we laid out over a year-ago, Jerry, continues with regards to the P&PS margin expectations in that, that strategic time period, that hasn't changed.

Jerry Revich
Analyst at The Goldman Sachs Group

Okay. Thanks, Bob.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Chad Dillard with Bernstein. Chad, your line is open.

Chad Dillard
Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein

Hi, good morning guys. So just want to continue on the margin question. I was hoping you could bridge the 300 basis-points, how much comes from CMS? How much comes from I guess the decision to include diversified solutions, the cost out and is there anything else that we should be thinking about when bridging today versus 2025?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So, Chad, 13.8% is the standalone Jacobs, it excludes CMS and Cyber & Intelligence. And then the nature of those costs is three buckets that I mentioned before, which are really corporate unallocated going from the $60 million run rate to $50 million run rate post separation and then operating model, which is $50 million in total run-rate and then full elimination of stranded costs up to the separation.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Chad, if you were to take -- if you were to take it in two buckets, Chad, if you're taking two buckets, half is coming from the operating model of a cost structure that's more in-line with the type of business that we will have and half is coming from margin expansion and margin mix. It's a higher-margin, higher-growth business. So think about it simplistically that way.

Chad Dillard
Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein

Got you, okay, that's helpful. And then just a question for you on backlog. I appreciate that gross margin, backlog is growing by 8%, but I was hoping maybe you could frame backlog growth excluding the capacity revenues. Just really trying to understand what were some of the puts versus the takes, strength versus weakness that you're seeing underlying in People and Places? And then maybe you can talk about just size of the pipeline?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, I don't actually think, Chad, it's the weakness. So actually I think it's really strong in our P&PS business right now. It's really on project lifecycle. We measure that revenue growth based on the where we are in the project lifecycle, right? And so when we're deep into whether it'd be Advanced Facilities jobs or large infrastructure programs, we're going to be burning and booking -- booking and burning a lot higher revenue kind of models. But as our business continues to profile more into a consultancy world, we're executing higher-value services over the project and program lifecycle, you have lower revenue, higher margin opportunities come into backlog, just depends on when that program lifecycle is. So we've talked about it before, which one is accelerating at a faster rate. I'd kind of tie that to where are we in the cycle of some of the spend.

Chad Dillard
Analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein

Got it. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Michael Dudas with Vertical Research. Michael, your line is open.

Michael Dudas
Analyst at Vertical Research

Good morning, Claudia.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Good morning.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Good morning, Mike.

Michael Dudas
Analyst at Vertical Research

Bob, maybe you could share maybe a touch of the pipeline and backlog. As you're entering 2024 in P&PS, you touched on water in your prepared remarks. What are some of the other areas that you see some interesting opportunities for new project backlog growth and how much of -- you mentioned about the change in mix of the type of service that you're going to be providing to your client base, how quickly or how noticeable will that be maybe on the project management consultancy side as we run-through the revenue model over the next maybe two to three years?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So, two-parts, one, Mike, you're asking about kind of what are some of the other end-market, secular trends that we're seeing? And then the second part of the question is around how do we see kind of revenue models as our consultancy business continues to grow -- consultancy type business, is that fair?

Michael Dudas
Analyst at Vertical Research

Yeah, to drive that the better mix that you're talking about over year.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Sure, sure. The other -- the other verticals, I mentioned of our top 30 wins, nine in water. If you take Water and Advanced Facilities, it's -- the half of the top 31's were in both of those sectors, six big Advanced Facilities markets do. So we continue to see strong activity within the -- within the Advanced Facilities world probably driven more so now as we bottomed-out from a end-market standpoint as far as sales goes within the semiconductor and see keep in mind, our clients continue to spend through their. But now with the GLP-1 drug is going on in life sciences and all the strength that we see with our clients we've had for years, advanced studies is going to continue to be strong. And then the others, I'd highlight is energy transition.

I highlighted a specific job, but the whole grid modernization of everything that we're seeing and we're kind of in that consultancy component of that and that's a strong piece, which is the segue to the second part. I would say that, that -- that continued profile of our portfolio within now call it independent Jacobs is, we're kind of in the early innings of that. And so it's going to be a balance, but I'd say over the course of the next two to three, four years, it's going to -- it's going to drive that margin expansion even beyond what Claudia talked about post 2025, with a cash conversion component to that, that's very high.

Michael Dudas
Analyst at Vertical Research

Perfect. Appreciate that. Thank you.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Andy Kaplowitz from Citigroup. Andy, your line is open.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Hey, good morning, everyone.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Good morning, Andy.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

So just sorting through Q4 results, I know there's a lot of noise because of the announced deal, but EPS and upcoming in below the low-end of your previous guidance range. Could you give us more color into what exactly happened in the quarter that was below your expectations. And you mentioned the $40 million of temporary cost that you're carrying and how that's impacting your results, should we simply be adding that $40 million back to your $1.53 billion to $1.6 billion EBITDA for 2024 to get what guidance would have been, if you weren't doing the RMT [Phonetic]?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, so, Andy, so let's start with the first one, which is the big one and explains roughly half of the gap is the tax -- the tax piece and I had -- I included some of them in the -- in my remarks. So if I take $0.06, so it's more the -- when you have a one-off in allowance and this is something that happens with your deferred tax. And so then the next one is going to be basically overhead costs or unallocated as one we call it corporate unallocated, that's the other big piece and then the share count and I mentioned why we could do stock repurchases in the fourth quarter even based on the transaction. So that's at a high-level what that means.

Then I added some of the commentary that is on the temporary cost that we carry in as we prepare CMS and the Cyber & Intelligence unit to operate independently, so that's the other -- the other piece of the puzzle if you want.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Claudia, is it right to say that you couldn't -- again, if you weren't doing the RMT, you would add that $40 million back to EBITDA or is that the right way to think about that?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Absolutely and that's what Bob mentioned that towards the end that's really our earnings power exclude -- should exclude that those temporary costs. We're very quite centric as our clients mention and we want to make sure we have quite a bit of value tied to this transaction and the upside that we included in this additional value that we're going to get in the end the transaction and the new entity. We won two entities to be very successful, its temporary and is to make sure we're preparing to have a very -- the leader that we want and that we continue to be.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Great. And then Bob...

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So, Andy, just to clarify -- just to clarify, so that EBITDA guidance that I gave at the end, we're carrying it in that guidance.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Yeah, that's there. And then, Bob, just on P&PS net revenue up 11% year-over-year in Q4. I think you said you have good confidence in mid to high single-digit organic revenue growth. Could you elaborate on the confidence do you see P&PS backlog growing at that rate in FY 2024 and then how you're thinking about sort of the balance between higher interest rates impacting projects under geopolitical risks with all the fiscal stimulus IJ that you mentioned and so on?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, I think on the backlog piece of the question, Andy, my answer is yes. I think that mid to-high single-digit growth will continue. Remember, we've got a really nice diversity within P&PS. So if we think about some of the political risk or what's happening with interest rates what might be affecting some of our private sector clients, there's not a full immunity, but our private sector clients continue to spend just because of the whether they be technology base or global supply chain base, I say technology-based, science-based drivers or supply-chain drivers that, that has continued and that's really been driving the performance. As far as IIJA or a larger infrastructure around energy transition outside the US, we have not seen that effect. In fact, our pipeline continues to grow at mid to high single-digit percentages and this is on a base that's very-high.

Andy Kaplowitz
Analyst at Smith Barney Citigroup

Appreciate the color.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Bert Subin with Stifel. Your line is open.

Bert Subin
Analyst at Stifel Nicolaus

Hey, good morning, Bob and Claudia. Thank you for the time.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Hey, Bert.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Hi.

Bert Subin
Analyst at Stifel Nicolaus

Bob, maybe just taking that, I think that was a more of a backlog question, you said in your prepared remarks the outlook remains very healthy. Can you just walk us through how you're thinking about the organic growth profile for the company in this coming year just for RemainCo, I think the previous range for FY 2024 for P&PS was 6% to 9% organic CAGR with PA Consulting at 12% to 15%. Do those remain intact and on the advanced facility side, pretty positive comments there, do you think that can keep growing double-digits?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, so the first part of the question, Bert, my answer is yes. I think on Advanced Facilities, I would say the underlying growth is strong. A lot of these -- these these larger programs whether they be in the semiconductor space or in the life sciences space are -- there are several impact from accounting standpoint, it's probably the highest that it's been -- it continues to stay at a very-high level. We're seeing now kind of the next wave of I mentioned GLP-1, but also other novel therapies run oncology and in some of the neuroscience projects that we're seeing. So the numbers will stay -- as far as numbers of opportunities will stay high where they are in the project lifecycle, we'll kind of balance imagine there's two curves one kind of coming down as far as the wave that we saw, the other is coming up which kind of leads to a 12 to 13, I'm sorry 12 to 18 month kind of recap there.

Gather everything that I just said, your numbers work.

Bert Subin
Analyst at Stifel Nicolaus

Got it, okay. Thanks. And maybe just a level deeper into the P&PS side. You've mentioned some positive remarks on water and on international opportunities. Can you just sort of give us the viewpoint and how you're thinking about I guess the regional disparity in FY 2024 as FX starts to become less of a factor. Do you think, what you're seeing in Europe and other parts of the world can rival sort of the growth we're expecting from IIJA in the US?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

I don't know if it will get to that level, Bert, I think it will be robust and I think Claudia mentioned it, our European business despite these, these macro headwinds that it faced has done well. And so I think you know, water transportation, energy transition that's -- that's driving the US probably more pronounced is around energy transition in Europe. Middle-East is across all of our -- our sectors P&PS sectors in the Middle-East and then in Southeast Asia and Australia and New Zealand, those have remained strong. Our business in APAC this year grew at significant double-digit. And so, smaller base in rest of the world, so I'd say all-in-all the geographic diversity that we have in our business really, really is strong and helps us.

Bert Subin
Analyst at Stifel Nicolaus

Thanks, Bob.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Steven Fisher with UBS. Steven, your line is open.

Steven Fisher
Analyst at UBS Group

Thanks, good morning. Just wanted to follow-up on the mix element of the 300 basis-point margin bridge. I think Bob when you're talking about the half before that's -- how much of that is related to just not having a lower-margin CMS in there versus achieving better margins in P&PS. I guess I'm wondering when all is said and done with your cost optimization, will your segment level margins be better or will that come out of some other initiatives over-time?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So, Steven, let me just make sure I understand. So, I'll recap what Bob said and then I'll address the segment margin. So the first one is the -- going up to 13.8%, roughly half is just the mix, by mix I mean, just what remains with us, the year half is cost optimization, the streamlining of the operating model and that is really a function of the remaining businesses removing costs and also the addition of our digital enablement and all that. So that in other words is the segment -- the segment that remain with us or the businesses that stay with us are going to increase their individual margins.

Does that answer your question?

Steven Fisher
Analyst at UBS Group

Yeah, it does. So as part of the cost optimization, there is segment level efficiency initiative as opposed to just sort of the corporate level element, yeah, that's helpful.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Both separation, that's what the operating model, that's where it shows overall as a company, yeah.

Steven Fisher
Analyst at UBS Group

Okay, great. And just trying to think about your debt position in about 12 months from now, I'm not sure if I missed, if you frame this out or not but $1.9 billion of net-debt now a $1 billion of dividend coming back from the separation that's pay-down debt, free cash flow looks like it would be about another $1 billion before whatever cash restructuring expenses you're calling out, I don't know how much that is, but are you assuming post sort of a net cash position exiting 2024?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, so, all our decisions are guided by a few principles. The first one is maintaining an investment-grade rating, very important for us to maintain the strategic flexibility that we want. So those -- those decisions are guided by our conversations with the rating agencies especially with this -- with this transaction. And the other one is our commitment to return cash to our shareholders. So as we go to the transaction, I think one of the elements is also that element of distribution to our shareholders and that's one of the reasons I highlighted how much return this quarter this year that is an important guiding principle for us is on a risk-adjusted basis to make the best decisions for our shareholders. And so I think that's an important element in the equation.

Steven Fisher
Analyst at UBS Group

Thank you very much.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Thank you, Steve.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Gautam Khanna with TD Cowen. Your line is open.

Gautam Khanna
Analyst at TD Cowen

Hey, good morning guys.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Hi, Gautam. Good morning.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Hi, Gautam.

Gautam Khanna
Analyst at TD Cowen

[Indecipherable] if you could characterize those risk profile, some of the projects you've been booking in the backlog, given the margin seems to be higher. Are these mostly fixed-price jobs like what allows the profits will be higher just mix of fixed-price is there anymore, just how would you characterize those? Thank you.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, I -- no, Gautam, it's a great question because it's where we're playing within the client's business, I mean, we're talking about a level of scientific and technical offering that is that the highest part of the business of our clients' business. And so whether it'd be in our pure-play PA Consulting work or in our be in our science-based technical offering in the Infrastructure and Advanced Facilities space, that, that, that garners a higher-level commercial model, part one. Part two, is around the digital enablement, right? We're actually offering outcome-based solutions rather than the historical, I'm going to get margins from a commercial model that's either fixed or reimbursable and trade on a productivity gain. We're able to get those types of margin with -- we'll get them in a reimbursable scenario or get them in a fixed-price services scenario just because of the level of impact that we're having in our clients business.

Gautam Khanna
Analyst at TD Cowen

Okay, just one quick follow-up, you guys have talked about your PFAS technology. I was just curious it its had any commercial traction yet and if not, when do you anticipate booking some of that PFAS related work?

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, it has -- it has in the PFAS work to segregate it out as an end-market, we haven't -- where we're seeing the PFAS gain is in our water sector. These wins that I'm referencing as well as some of the larger framework agreements that we have for water clients, whether it'd be federal state or local around the world, that comes into play. Where we're actually making PFAS type of consultancy arrangements around that too. The real PFAS for PFAS stake across the industry comes when you get type of super fund, type of application and these containment, it's being highlighted on public docket. So, where we see growth, but I would look at that growth, probably from a -- from a perspective of how it affects our end-market sectors. And then when you get kind of in the -- the 2025, 2026, 2027 range and you start to get some compliance-related items that are even further driving those end-market sectors, it gets bigger.

Gautam Khanna
Analyst at TD Cowen

Thanks, guys.

Operator

Your next question comes from the line of Sabahat Khan with RBC Capital Market. Your line is open.

Sabahat Khan
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Great, thanks and good morning. I just wanted to get a little bit of perspective on maybe just a medium-term, even if it's directionally, as you look at the 13.8% in fiscal 2025 and maybe just think about your mix by end-market and region. If you just think moving on from that, is there opportunity whether to maybe look within P&PS probably lower-margin businesses or you expand geographically. I'm just thinking about the levers, kind of going-forward you see for the P&PS margins beyond just cost optimization to sort of get to that level in a few years.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Go ahead, you go and then...

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So I'd say, this is something that we do, we're doing currently and we do all the time. So I would say two big levers are the -- our global delivery platform is one very important and we have one of the best platforms, if not the best and it's been for several years, that's the first one. The other one is the digital enablement and you see at some of the projects that we highlighted today are, you see a clear differentiation that we have compared to our competitors, where we -- the digital enablement and the outcome-based that Bob mentioned before drives those -- those more profitable project.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah and just to add one more thing, Sabahat, on the kind of the what we don't need, we don't -- we feel really strongly that our portfolio in the end-markets that we're in is strong. Claudia talked about our two biggest enablers, I'll add a third, which is our consultancy enablement as well, but it's not like we need to go search for new geographies or by skillsets in an end-market sector. It's really the expansion through the digital and consultancy based enablement coupled with access to global talent which I would be in the high agreement that we're the one of the best in and how we deliver on that.

Sabahat Khan
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Okay, great. And then as you think about your guidance for kind of next year, kind of the numbers embedded in your three-year plan you laid out the 6% to 9% for P&PS, I mean and then -- even as you look out sort of, maybe another year beyond that, what mix of price versus volume do you anticipate given some of the funding that's in the system right now and how should we think about that mix over the next couple of years, particularly in that kind of infer our space.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yeah, I think that that's going to be tied to this enablement component. It's not -- our this is hone in because it's kind of a different, probably a different answer for different components of that Infrastructure and Advanced Facilities space, but let's just hone in on infrastructure. Our clients are capped with how much they can spend for the infrastructure need. So what we do is we come in with an offering where we're gaining margin with the enablement of outcomes-based solutions. So there is a price component that -- but with a higher-margin is what we're driving with our digital enablement. So we see that driving to the bottom-line as we do all the things that Claudia talked about is, creating more simplified and streamlined organization.

Sabahat Khan
Analyst at RBC Capital Markets

Okay. Great, thanks very much.

Operator

Your final question comes from the line of Andy Wittmann with Baird. Andy, your line is open.

Andy Wittmann
Analyst at Robert W. Baird

Oh, great, thanks for taking my questions here. I guess, it would just be kind of helpful to understand the timing on the $275 million of costs associated with all these actions. It sounds like there's going to be some here ahead of the transaction, but some probably translate to after the transaction. Claudia, can you just talk about the timing of those cash items and recognition of those on the income statement?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

So, Andy, this is very closely linked to the execution of the separation. So there will be more towards the end, you will have -- you will have more because of elimination of, we talked about the stranded cost and the advisors and all that, but very much throughout you're going to see it because of the advisory fees and all that that I mentioned before. So that's just aligned with the timeline of the separation.

Andy Wittmann
Analyst at Robert W. Baird

Okay. And then, I guess, [Indecipherable] next, I guess just on -- I guess on the 1Q guide, I guess I just wanted to get a little bit more comfortable with that. I don't think you're saying that the corporate unallocated cost run-rate is going to be higher in 1Q. It sounds like you're saying it's going to be about the same. I just wanted to confirm that. Then when you talk about the seasonality, I guess there's always seasonality in 1Q, what's different about this year's seasonality, is it just the fact of the items that we called out in last year's footnote that present a tough comp that weren't excluded. And I guess maybe related to that, if there are costs that are related to restructuring and separation, why aren't those being excluded in the first-quarter?

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

No, I think we talked about -- there is a seasonality of the business. So yes, I'd say yes to that one. And then the ones that I mentioned of the $40 million, just at a high-level, the cost that we're carrying to support the separation of CMS. So it's really linked to the transaction or preparing CMS to operate in the new -- in the new environment. So those I would say that one amplifies the impact, but I didn't say it would be higher on the $60 million is more what we carry an extra throughout or across the company to support CMS.

Andy Wittmann
Analyst at Robert W. Baird

Okay. All right. Thank you.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

CMS and Cyber & Intelligence.

Operator

At this time, there are no more questions. Now I'd like to turn the call back over to the team.

Bob Pragada
Chief Executive Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Yes, thank you everyone. We're excited about the future and we look-forward to providing more updates as we progress our exciting plan forward. Thank you, everyone.

Claudia Jaramillo
Chief Financial Officer at Jacobs Solutions

Thank you.

Operator

[Operator Closing Remarks]

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