By: Bob Andelman | Contributing Writer

August 27, 2009

A $12.8 billion Gulf Coast technology firm is attacking the recession, on both domestic and foreign soil, through a nimble yet risk-laden approach. One gamble: It’s going full throttle into the cell phone industry. 

No doubt about it: in the grandly profitable, 37-year history of Jabil Circuit Inc., 2009 will not go down as a great year for financials.

It may, however, be the kind of year that the St. Petersburg-based technology company remembers fondly in the not so distant future.

It was not a great year by Jabil standards; it was a solid year by global recession standards.

“I think our strategy has been relatively consistent,” says Timothy Main, Jabil’s president and chief executive officer. “We’re refining a little to focus on markets we have a competitive advantage in. We’ve been focused on global electronics manufacturing and have diversified a big part of our strategy.”

Jabil (NYSE: JBL) has sought to stay ahead of bad news over which it has no control with cost cutting and what executives call “aggressive action.” Among these moves: shutting down a manufacturing facility in Massachusetts.

“At the same time,” Main says, “we’ve kept our core value properties with our customers in good shape. The core values of the company have been preserved and our financial position is in good shape. Customers see stability and Jabil stacks up” vis-à-vis its competition.”

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