Founded in 1997, Student Transportation Inc. (NASDAQ: STB) is North America’s third-largest and fastest-growing provider of school bus transportation services, operating more than 8,500 vehicles. STI’s family of local companies delivers safe, reliable and cost-effective transportation solutions to school districts throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Standard Transportation usually purchases a new fleet and then splits the fuel costs with the customer. With the uncertainty of market diesel prices it is more cost-efficient to operate an LPG or CNG vehicle than a diesel engine vehicle. Standard has additional LPG vehicles scheduled to be deployed for the upcoming school year and we look forward to further fuel savings for our customers. Standard Transportation is committed to helping schools everywhere have safe, economical, and environmentally responsible transportation for their students. Their success with alternative fuel fleets in Minnesota and California has prompted more customers to make the switch to outsourcing student transportation.
Student Transportation has won six new bid contracts, two in Ontario, two inConnecticut and two in New Hampshire, for 2013 as announced towards the end of March, and secured another eight contracts in Texas and Washington that National Express was required to divest by the U.S. Department of Justice in connection with its purchase of Petermann Partners.
The additional revenues and cash flows from the six acquisitions closed and integrated in the first half of the fiscal year and the nine new bid contracts won for fiscal 2012, along with the recovery of approximately $1.2 million in continued revenue deferrals at the end of the third quarter should continue the positive momentum through the end of the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012,
Third quarter revenue increased $22.3 million to $113.3 million, from $91.0 million and EBITDA improved $6.1 million to $25.5 million, from $19.4 million for the comparable period last year. Net income for the third quarter of fiscal year 2012 increased to $3.0 million or $0.05 per common share compared to net income of $1.6 million or $0.03 per common share for the third quarter of fiscal year 2011.
Student Transportation has continued its practice of approving the announcement of dividends quarterly. Dividends will continue to be paid on a monthly basis to shareholders of record. Today, investors are looking at an investment in Student Transportation that pays $0.55 annually in monthly distributions. This produces an 8.3% yield at the market price. Student Transportation will pay a regular monthly cash dividend on October 15, 2012, November 15 and December 17 to shareholders of record at the close of business on September 28, 2012, October 31 and November 30.
Student Transportation’s CEO Denis Gallagher has stated that he’s satisfied with the dividend payment and wants to focus on driving investor value. His goal is to see the yield drop in the 5%-range through share-price appreciation. This calculates to a target price of $11.00 which is 66% higher than the current price of $6.63.