School bus contractor Student Transportation Inc. is reporting a nearly 11-percent increase in revenue for the third quarter compared to the same period last year, and remains on target for 7-percent annual growth, an expectation set at the beginning of this year.
The results were announced in advance of conference call scheduled for Thursday morning.
STI, which operates more than 13,000 school buses in the U.S. and Canada, is also reporting that income from operations increased to $12.2 million from $7.0 million compared to the same period last year.
Meanwhile, net income rose to $3.8 million, an increase of $0.04 per share. That’s a 100-percent increase from $0.02 per share in the third quarter of 2015.
STI added that its Adjusted EBITDA increased 22.4% to $39.3 million from $32.1 million, which represents an Adjusted EBITDA margin of 22.7%, up from 20.6% last year.
“We were pleased with our strong performance during the third quarter, which was aided by the anticipated decline in fuel prices, the additional contracts we won last year and the beginning signs of some operating efficiencies we have been implementing,” said Denis J. Gallagher, chairman and CEO of STI, in a statement. “Third quarter revenues increased $17 million and were in line with our expectations as are our year-to-date revenues reflecting the stable contract revenue visibility of our business model. We also delivered improved cash flow and increased net income during the third quarter versus last year. We are just getting started in realizing the productivity and cost efficiencies of our new operating systems and the on-board technologies we have been implementing.”
Gallagher also pointed to the success of the SafeStop mobile app that provides real-time tracking and arrival time of the company’s school buses as well as those owned and operated by school districts and even other contractors. And he said the company’s growing alternative-fuel fleet is lowering operating costs while also reducing STI’s carbon footprint.
Prior to the third-quarter whistle, STI said it entered into an agreement on April 11 with one of its largest shareholders to repurchase five million shares at a discount to the trading price that day. STI cancelled those shares to reduce total shares outstanding by 5 percent.