BARRIE, Ontario, May 10, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Student Transportation Inc. (TSX:STB) (NASDAQ:STB) ("STI" or "the Company") today announced financial results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 ended March 31, 2017. All financial results are reported in U.S. dollars except as otherwise noted.

Revenue for the third quarter of fiscal 2017 increased 7 percent to $185.2 million from $173.2 million for the third quarter of fiscal 2016. STI reported net income for the third quarter of $7.9 million, or $0.08 per common share, compared to $3.8 million, or $0.04 per common share, for the third quarter of fiscal 2016. Adjusted EBITDA* increased 10 percent to $43.3 million compared to $39.3 million for the same period last year.

"We continue to be encouraged with the performance of our operations and are enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead that are setting up a promising fiscal 2018. We have been developing and implementing numerous programs and initiatives this year that are being installed to improve our operating results for the future. These do take time," stated Denis J. Gallagher, Chairman and CEO. "We are pleased with our positive quarterly results despite severe winter weather and regional driver shortages that have created headwinds in our operations. This year we have experienced an increase in driver shortages in several markets as well as numerous school day closings due to winter weather that brought flooding, tornadoes and snowstorms. At the end of the third quarter we had approximately $6 million in deferred weather-related revenue. Historically, we have anticipated recouping a majority of that amount, however, we are at the discretion of the state and local governments regarding the number of school days they choose to make up," Gallagher added. "Our local operating teams are working hard to improve our retention and recruiting efforts while our fleet management team is lowering maintenance cost and reducing vehicles through our new telematics software being installed which will reduce our replacement capital expenditures for fiscal 2018."

The Company previously stated it has locked in the portion of vendor-contracted fuel for the entire fiscal 2018 at prices slightly lower than the current fiscal year.

Looking ahead Gallagher said, "We are well-positioned to expand strategically in our core contracted student transportation business in fiscal 2018 and to enhance our Managed Services Group which is a leader in management consulting and operations of the $16 billion school district owned and operated business. We have been building a team that is developing new business relations and generating new revenue streams that we can leverage. This is a new area for us and it is exciting to see the potential this group has going forward."

As has been the norm over the past 12 years, the Board of Directors, which reviews and approves the dividend on a quarterly basis in advance, has approved the monthly cash dividend of $0.03667 per common share for the first quarter of fiscal 2018. That marks the 153 rd consecutive monthly dividend announced since the Company became public in 2004. The dividend, paid in U.S. dollars, is Canadian Dividend Tax Qualified and is a Qualified Dividend in the U.S.

This month the Company will be celebrating its 20 th year since its founding by Chairman and CEO Denis J. Gallagher in 1997 and will mark the occasion by participating in the NASDAQ Closing Bell Ceremony at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times Square in New York City on May 17 th at 4:00 p.m.  
Reconciliation of Net Income (loss) and Adjusted EBITDA *
    Year over Year   Year over Year
(Amounts in 000's)   Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
     3/31/17      3/31/16    3/31/17      3/31/16  
Net income (loss)   $7,865     $3,769   $2,197     $(241 )
Add back:                      
Income tax expense (benefit)   4,867     2,369   1,260     (173 )
Foreign currency loss (gain)   (77 )   561   (91 )   1,287  
Other (income) expense, net   (1,104 )   1,351   (964 )   (330 )
Non-cash loss (gain) on US$ 6.25% Convertible                      
Debentures conversion feature   -     291   (190 )   286  
Equity in net loss of unconsolidated investment   -     36   -     11  
Non-cash stock compensation   -     983   5,802     3,967  
Interest expense   4,440     3,833   13,600     10,821  
Impairment of oil and gas assets   -     -   224     1,200  
Amortization expense   786     782   2,360     2,360  
Depreciation and depletion expense   14,101     14,345   33,164     33,727  
Operating lease expense   12,433     11,007   29,002     25,591  
Adjusted EBITDA *   $43,311     $39,327 $86,364   $78,506  
                   

Results of Operations                        
    Three Months Ended   Nine Months Ended
    March 31   March 31
    2017   2016   2017   2016
Revenues   $185,187     $173,241     $464,539     $434,004  
Costs and expenses                        
Cost of operations   136,915     127,775     356,648     334,772  
General and administrative   17,394     16,954     50,529     46,125  
Non-cash stock compensation   -     983     5,802     3,967  
Acquisition expense   -     192     -     192  
Depreciation and depletion expense   14,101     14,345     33,164     33,727  
Amortization expense   786     782     2,360     2,360  
Impairment of oil and gas assets   -     -     224     1,200  
Total operating expenses   169,196     161,031     448,727     422,343  
Income from operations   15,991     12,210     15,812     11,661  
Interest expense   4,440     3,833     13,600     10,821  
Foreign currency (gain) loss   (77 )   561     (91 )   1,287  
Non-cash loss (gain) on US$ 6.25% Convertible                        
Debentures conversion feature   -     291     (190 )   286  
Other (income) expense, net   (1,104 )   1,351     (964 )   (330 )
Income (loss) before income taxes and equity in net  loss of unconsolidated investment   12,732     6,174     3,457     (403 )
Equity in net loss of unconsolidated investment   -     (36 )   -     (11 )
Income tax expense (benefit)   4,867     2,369     1,260     (173 )
Net income (loss)   $7,865     $3,769     $2,197     $(241 )
Basic and diluted net income per common share   $0.08     $0.04     $0.02     $-  
                         

Conference Call & Live Webcast Student Transportation Inc. will hold a conference call and live audio webcast on Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. (ET) to discuss its results for the third quarter of fiscal year 2017 ended March 31, 2017. The call will be hosted by Denis Gallagher, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, and Patrick Walker, Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Following management's presentation, there will be a brief question and answer session for analysts and institutional investors. The call can be accessed by dialing 1-877-561-2750. To access the live audio webcast and rebroadcast for up to 30 days after the call, visit  www.RideSTBus.com

Profile Founded in 1997, Student Transportation Inc. (STI) is an industry leader in safety and North America's largest independent provider of school bus transportation services. STI operates more than 13,500 vehicles, providing customers with the highest level of safe and reliable student transportation, management, logistics and technology solutions possible. With an industry-leading safety rating and the youngest fleet in the business, STI's services are delivered by drivers, dispatchers, maintenance technicians, terminal managers, information technology professionals and others who are caring members of their local communities. For more information, please visit  www.RideSTBus.com.

* Non-GAAP Measures Adjusted EBITDA is a non-GAAP financial measure, but management believes it is useful in measuring STI'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.

Forward-Looking Statements Certain statements in this news release are "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of applicable securities laws, which reflect the expectations of management regarding, among other matters, STI's revenues, expense levels, cost of capital, financial leverage, seasonality, liquidity, profitability of new businesses acquired or secured through bids, borrowing availability, ability to renew or refinance various loan facilities as they become due, ability to execute STI's growth strategy and cash distributions, as well as their future growth, results of operations, performance and business prospects and opportunities. Forward-looking statements generally can be identified by the use of forward-looking terminology such as "may", "will", "expect", "intend", "estimate", "anticipate", "believe", "should", "plans" or "continue" or similar expressions, and the negative forms thereof, suggesting future outcomes or events.
Investor Contacts:     Patrick J. Walker Executive Vice President & Chief Financial Officer Student Transportation Inc.  Doug Coupe Director of Communications & Investor Relations Student Transportation Inc. 843.884.2720 dcoupe@ridesta.com

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