Student Transportation Announces Fourth Quarter Results

Student Transportation Announces Fourth Quarter Results

Highlights:

  • Revenue, up 38.4 percent from the comparable period last year to US $63.4 million
  • EBITDAR* improvement of 50.5 percent to US $14.6 million from $9.7 million same period last year
  • Net income rose to US $2.7 million from $1.7 million in prior year comparable period
  • Prior interim financial statements revised to reflect tax deductibility of noncash loss related to exchange offer that closed in September 2007

Toronto (September 22, 2008) – Student Transportation of America Ltd. (“STA” or the “Company”) (TSX: STB, STB.UN) today reported financial results for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008, ended June 30, 2008. A separate release was issued for the year end results. All financial results are reported in U.S. dollars and compared to the same three month period last year except as otherwise noted.

Fiscal 2008 fourth quarter revenue was $63.4 million, up from $45.8 million for the prior year fourth quarter and fiscal 2008 EBITDAR* rose to $14.6 million from $9.7 million for the prior year quarter. STA reported net income for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2008 of $2.7 million or $0.07 per common share compared to $1.7 million or $0.07 per common share for the prior year fourth quarter.  

For the quarter the Company generated cash available for distributions* of $10.4 million and paid out distributions of $6.6 million (C $7.3 million). Net cash provided by operations was $11.4 million for the quarter. As stated previously, due to the seasonality of the business, (i.e. schools are not in session during the majority of STA’s first quarter), the Company views distributable cash on an annualized basis.  

Consistent with previous comments by management and prior fiscal years, results for the fourth quarter included the make-up of school days deferred due to adverse winter weather in the second and third quarters of the fiscal year.

Subsequent Events

On July 15, 2008, Student Transportation of Canada (STC), an operating subsidiary of STA, established its first foothold in South-western Ontario when it announced the acquisition of London-based school bus operator Elgie Bus Lines Limited. Elgie is STC’s ninth acquisition in Canada and STA’s 33rd overall, increasing total Canadian operations to more than 1,200 vehicles and nearly C$50 million in annualized Canadian revenue.

STA’s financial statements, notes to financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis are available at www.sedar.com or at the Company’s website www.rideSTA.com.

Fiscal 2008 Quarterly Financial Statements – Amended

The Company’s consolidated financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis for each of the quarterly year to date periods for fiscal 2008 have been adjusted to reflect an additional non-cash future tax benefit totalling $3.1 million associated with the non-cash loss resulting from the retirement of 14% Subordinated Notes in connection with the Company’s first Exchange Offer that closed on September 4, 2007.  The future tax benefit was not recorded in the year to date amounts included in each of the previously filed consolidated financial statements for each interim quarter of fiscal 2008 as the non-cash loss was originally considered non-deductible for tax purposes.  Upon final investigation and review in connection with the preparation of the year-end consolidated financials statements, it has been determined that the non-cash loss is deductible for tax purposes and that the non-cash future tax benefit of $3.1 million should be recorded.  For each of the interim quarters of fiscal 2008, this adjustment did not affect distributable cash, cash flow from operations or net loss before income taxes, but did increase recovery of income taxes, reduce net loss, decrease future tax liabilities, and reduce accumulated deficit by this amount.  The amended interim financial statements, notes to financial statements and management’s discussion and analysis are available at www.sedar.com or at the Company’s website www.rideSTA.com.

Conference Call & Webcast

Management will host a conference call and live audio webcast to discuss STA’s performance for the fourth quarter of fiscal year 2008 at 11 a.m. (ET) on September 23, 2008. The call may be accessed at by dialling 1-888-205-4499 or 416-883-7132 and enter the passcode 37614#. The webcast will be subsequently archived at www.rideSTA.com. A taped rebroadcast will be available until 12 a.m. September 30, 2008 and can be accessed by dialling 1-877-245-4531 and enter passcode 672536#.

Profile

Founded in 1997, Student Transportation is the fourth-largest provider of school bus transportation services in North America, conducting operations through local operating subsidiaries. Student Transportation has become a leading school bus transportation company by aggregating operations through the consolidation of existing providers and conversion of in-house operations and currently operates more than 5,400 school vehicles in North America. For more information, please visit www.rideSTA.com.

* Non-GAAP Measures

EBITDAR is a non-GAAP financial measure, but management believes it is useful in measuring STA’s performance. Readers are cautioned that this measure should not be construed as an alternative to net income or loss or other comparable measures determined in accordance with GAAP as an indicator of the Company’s performance or as a measure of its liquidity and cash flow. The Company’s method of calculating non-GAAP measures may differ from the methods used by other issuers and accordingly, the Company’s non-GAAP measures may not be comparable to similarly titled measures used by other issuers.

Cash available for distributions is a non-GAAP measure, and is not intended to be representative of cash flow or results of operations determined in accordance with GAAP.  Investors are cautioned that cash available for distribution, as calculated by the Company, is unlikely to be comparable to similar measures used by other issuers.

Forward-Looking Statements

This news release contains “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of applicable securities laws, which reflects the expectations of management regarding the Issuer’s and Company’s results of operations, expense levels, seasonality, cash flows, performance, liquidity, borrowing availability, financial ratios, ability to execute the Company’s growth strategy and cash distributions.  Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as “may”, “will”, “expect”, “intend”, “track”, “targeted”, “estimate”, “anticipate”, “believe”, “should”, “could”, “plans” or “continue” or similar expressions suggesting future outcomes or events.  These forward looking statements reflect the Company’s current expectations regarding anticipated future events, results, circumstances, performance or expectations that are not historical facts.  Forward looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties, and should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results, and will not necessarily be accurate indications of whether or not or the times at which or by the performance or results will be achieved. A number of factors could cause our actual results to differ materially from the results discussed, expressed or implied in any forward-looking statement made by us or on our behalf, including, but not limited to, the factors discussed under “Risk Factors” in our Annual Information Form.  These forward looking statements are made as of the date of this news release and, except as required by applicable law, we undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise

INVESTOR CONTACTS:    

Student Transportation of America Ltd.

Denis J. Gallagher

Chairman and CEO

(732) 280-4200

Patrick J. Walker

Executive VP and CFO

(732) 280-4200

Keith P. Engelbert

Director of Investor Relations

(732) 280-4200

(732) 280-4213 (FAX)

Email: kengelbert@rideSTA.com

Website: www.rideSTA.com

MEDIA CONTACT:

Lynette Viviani

973-968-7929 office

973-534-1004 mobile

lviviani@rideSTA.com