IdleAire admits future looks grim

| 4/22/2008

Having never actually made money, IdleAire Technologies Corp., reported to stockholders in its annual report for 2007 that it has amassed a total net loss of more than $246 million since it went into operation.

Company officials aren’t that optimistic about its future either – so much so that expansion plans are now put on hold. IdleAire is a provider of truck stop electrification and related services.

The report filed April 15 with the Securities and Exchange Commission repeatedly expresses concern about the future success of the company.

“We cannot guarantee if, when or to what extent we will become profitable or that we can maintain profitability if it is achieved,” officials wrote in the report. “We have liquidity problems and may need to raise capital on terms unfavorable to our stockholders, or we may not be able to raise capital at all.”

One move IdleAire executives made in 2007 was to take the company public with an Initial Public Offering of its stock. Following the July 2007 announcement that the company would pursue the IPO to raise money for its operations, all of its reports have cast a shadow of doubt on the company’s ability to be financially successful.

Those concerns were repeated in the 2007 annual report.

IdleAire’s ability to make money hinge on a variety of factors that company officials contend are out of their control. One such factor is the cost associated with the company’s expansion plan and the build-out of its network.

Officials report that each IdleAire space costs approximately $15,000 to build. So for a truck stop with 70 or so parking spaces up for conversion, company officials expect to spend about $1.1 million on that one truck stop alone.

Other concerns that may limit IdleAire’s potential for any financial success include competition from other anti-idling devices, resistance of truck stops to commit to the technology, and resistance from truck drivers.

IdleAire quickly earned favor years ago with the federal government and even some regional agencies, snagging more than $54 million in grants for the expansion of its network. Company officials acknowledged in the annual report that there are no assurances IdleAire will be awarded any more grants.

Despite all of the dismal news laid out in the annual report, IdleAire officials are still looking to the future.

“Assuming that we are able to secure funding to meet our immediate working capital needs, we also plan to seek significant, additional long-term funding in order to resume our network expansion activities,” officials wrote in the report.

– By Jami Jones, senior editor