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Student Transportation Inc. Delivers Fourth Quarter & Fiscal Year 2013 Results

Stocks in this article: STB

Barrie, ONTARIO, Sept. 16, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Student Transportation Inc., ("STI" or the "Company") (TSX:STB) (Nasdaq:STB) today reported fiscal year results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended June 30, 2013. All financial results are reported in US dollars, except as otherwise noted.

"We were very pleased with the full year operating results for fiscal 2013.The fourth quarter came in very strong as expected, and we recovered the $5.0 million in revenue deferrals present at March 31," said Denis J. Gallagher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. "Recovery of that revenue resulted in an 18 percent year-over-year increase in fourth quarter revenue and the full year increase of 15 percent that we identified at the start of the fiscal year. While the nature of our contracted revenues allows us to predict the number of days we will operate, we can't predict severe weather or when it will occur. For the full year we improved our margins, lowered senior and total debt covenant ratios, and lowered fuel cost, SG&A costs and interest expense. This resulted in a pay out ratio of 79 percent and we are forecasting that number to decrease further in fiscal 2014."

Fourth quarter revenue and adjusted EBITDA* were $122.3 million and $30.4 million, respectively, compared to $103.4 million and $23.3 million for the fourth quarter of fiscal 2012. For full year fiscal 2013, revenues increased to $423.7 million from $369.0 million in fiscal 2012 and adjusted EBITDA* improved to $81.2 million or 19.2 percent from $70.1 million or 19 percent for the same period last year. Net income for fiscal year 2013 was $3.9 million or $0.05 per share compared to net income of $2.3 million or $0.03 per share for the prior fiscal year. The Company paid cash dividends of $34.6 million or C$0.56 per share to shareholders during the 2013 fiscal year. "Our strategic initiatives and continued improvement in operating results provide the foundation of our dividend payments, and we paid our 104 th consecutive monthly dividend on September 16, 2013. As has been customary the Board of Directors approved the quarterly extension of the dividend payable through December 2013," Gallagher said.

In February 2013, the Company secured a new five year amended credit agreement with its bank group, increasing commitments by $15 million to $155 million and extending the maturity of the credit agreement to February 2018 while lowering the borrowing costs under the agreement by 50 basis points. The extended agreement also maintains a $100 million "accordion feature" which the company can access if ever needed. Borrowings under the credit agreement bear interest at a variable base rate plus an applicable margin. In anticipation of potentially higher market rates, the Company secured a financial hedge to fix the underlying base rate on approximately $50 million of borrowings on the credit facility. Approximately 85% of the Company's total debt is now fixed with low rates for the next four to six years.

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