Public Parking Companies – Are they good investments?

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Public Parking Companies – Are they good investments?

I know little or nothing about reading 10K reports from publicly traded companies. However I gave it a try this morning and after four ibuprofen and a longing look at the whisky bottle — I came up with the following:

Ampco System Grossed about the same in 2004 as they did in 2003, (Around $380 million) but their profits were up 50% from $6 million to $9 Million or so.

Standard’s gross was up about $20 million from $545 Million to $563 Million, their profits took a big swing, from an $18 million loss in 2003 to a $2.6 million gain in 2004.

Central had earnings in 2004 of $17.4 million on $1.2 Billion in revenues, compared with a loss of $4.5 million on $1.15 billion in 2003.

Profits were up, grosses were up slightly, so far so good. But is a 2% profit in Ampco’s case, or .04% (four hundreds of one percent) in Standards or .3% (1/3 of one percent) in Central’s case that great?  Central and Standard’s shareholders would have done better in the money market.

It seems that Ampco has its costs under control even as its income was steady — I have been told that the best way to increase the bottom line is to decrease the expenses. Certainly the Ampco Team seemed to have taken that little rule to heart.

Standard seems to have moved from loss to profit by increasing the gross revenue and keeping expenses constant. It seem to be a good start.

Central is struggling — It has been able to reduce its expenses and make a bit of money on a slightly higher revenue in 2004.

Remember a couple of things. These numbers are seven months old in Ampco’s and Central’s case and four months old in Standards. Things seems to be moving in the industry. Quarterly reports for Ampco were off the charts, up 100 percent over the first quarter last year. Standard is projecting a robust 2005. However Central just reported net earnings down over 16% for the first half of the year.

Make of them as ye will… and if I am off with any, please let me know.

JVH

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John Van Horn

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