Garage operator Standard Parking (NASDAQ:STAN) closed out its first year as a public company on June 30. Yesterday, the company reported on its results for the second half of that year, which was also the first half of fiscal 2005. (Just to clarify, Standard didn't go public until the second half of its fiscal 2004.)

I have to admit that, although the company's no Imperial Parking (AMEX:IPK), it is doing considerably better as a business than competitor Central Parking (NYSE:CPC). As reported in Standard's earnings release, first-half revenues grew 7% year over year, and last year's $5.2 million first-half loss became a $6.4 million net profit in H1 2005. More importantly, the company far outstripped that GAAP net profit in real cash terms, generating $9.1 million in free cash flow over the first six months of this year. That figure derives from a straightforward calculation of FCF: cash from operations minus capital expenditures. The company itself took an even more conservative approach, subtracting the effects of foreign currency exchange-rate fluctuations. According to Standard's own calculations, its free cash flow was a slightly more modest $8.6 million.

The company's earnings release also stated that its business is somewhat seasonal, so I hesitate to take those free cash flow numbers and extrapolate a "run rate" on what Standard should earn through the rest of fiscal 2005. In guesstimating the company's forward cash-generating abilities, I turned to MSN Money, which notes that Standard generated $8.1 million in free cash flow during H2 2004. Pair that with Standard's just-announced $9.1 million from the past six months, and the company appears capable of ending this year about $17.2 million richer than it started out.

That gives this company, with its $191 million market cap, a price-to-free cash flow ratio of 11.1. Considering that analysts expect to see 10% long-term growth from Standard, its stock may not be an outright bargain, but it's not severely overpriced, either.

Park yourself for further Foolishness:

Fool contributor Rich Smith has no position in any of the companies mentioned in this article.