Apparently, my skepticism about auto-salvage specialist Copart's (NASDAQ:CPRT) valuation has engendered some discussion over on the Motley Fool Stock Advisor message boards -- the sort of discussion that envisions my head on a silver platter.

Folks, when I write a column about a Fool pick like Copart, when I praise Focus Media (NASDAQ:FMCN) or pan 3M (NYSE:MMM), I'm writing a column for the Fool, not as the Fool. I'm not espousing an official viewpoint for Stock Advisor -- just chipping in my own two cents, adjusted for inflation.

The Motley Fool is not a monolithic organization. Everyone is encouraged to think independently, and to express these thoughts both in private and in public, on these pages. So while I suspect my colleagues over at Stock Advisor were delighted with Wednesday's news, and thrilled at the stock's subsequent 15% Thursday price bump, Yours Fool-y remains as skeptical as ever. Here's why.

Honey, who shrunk the growth story?
First and foremost, Wednesday's numbers just weren't that impressive. Better than upstream in the auto industry, where Ford (NYSE:F) and GM (NYSE:GM) -- and even Toyota (NYSE:TM) -- still struggle. But not great. Sales grew 4%. Profits were up 7% (to $0.44 per share), thanks entirely to management's continued share buyback program. (Net profit, which is unaffected by buybacks, actually declined.)

As for the subject of my concerns earlier this week, free cash flow, I haven't a clue. Valued on its trailing GAAP earnings, Copart actually looks pretty attractively priced with a 15 P/E and 16% projected growth. Not bad at all -- on the surface.

But what lies beneath?
Regrettably, management continues to disrespect its shareholders, withholding from its earnings releases essential data in the form of its cash flow statement -- a document that, as fellow Fool Bill Mann explained in his classic column: "The Perfect Earnings Report," no self-respecting earnings report should leave home without.

Without that document, we still lack current data on the company's cash profitability. That leaves us still looking at a company that, at last report, was selling for about 28 times its cash profits. Weighed against the expected growth rate, that looks downright expensive.

Foolish takeaway
Copart, I'm a reasonable Fool. What's more, I'm in awe of the smarter folks over at Stock Advisor -- and they all believe in you. I'd love to, too, just as soon as you prove me wrong. Produce the cash flow statement. Prove that you've broken your decade-long streak of reporting higher GAAP earnings than you generate as cash profit.

In short, show me the money.

Further fractious Foolishness:

Focus Media Holding is a Motley Fool Global Gains recommendation and a Motley Fool Rule Breakers pick. 3M is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. The Fool owns shares of Copart. Try any of our Foolish newsletters today, free for 30 days.

Fool contributor Rich Smith does not own shares of any company named above. The Motley Fool passed on the premium undercarriage rust protection, but bought a bumper-to-bumper warranty on disclosure.