Central Parking Shares Fall on Earnings Release

Shares slip on 2005 earnings report

Shares of Nashville-based Central Parking Corp., a dominant player worldwide in parking-lot operations, fell Wednesday morning after the company posted its fourth-quarter and fiscal year-end results.

For the quarter, CPC had earnings from continuing operations of 49 cents per share, a large increase over the same quarter last year. For the year, earnings from continuing operations were likewise up, reaching $33.7 million, or 92 cents per share, compared with $18.4 million, or 50 cents per share in 2004.

Net earnings, however, were down for fiscal 2005 at $14.2 million, or 39 cents per share. In 2004, the company had net earnings of $17.0 million, 46 cents per share.

A company news release revealed that previously disclosed accounting troubles at its United Kingdom subsidiary had knocked $10 million off its 2005 net earnings. Because of the UK problems, "the Company will report material weaknesses in its controls over financial reporting as of September 30, 2005," the statement said.

After initially falling 3.1 percent on the news, CPC's stock was trading at 2.5 percent off yesterday's close as of 10am Wednesday, at $13.82.