Zipcar now profitable

It's great when a business has a model that provides a service at benefit to the environment. It's even better when that business also turns a profit.

Zipcar reported its third quarter financials this week. If you only looked at the resulting change in the stock price, you might think that Zipcar had blown it. Their stock took a sharp hit as they failed to meet the expectations of some Wall Street analysts. However, they did meet one very significant target: They turned a profit.

With overall revenues up 24%, the four original locations (Boston, New York City, San Fancisco, and Washington D. C.) continuing to grow at a rate of 23%, and with membership now topping 650,000, Zipcar seems to be in it for the long term. Overall, they returned $0.02 on revenues of $68.1 million.

With service in over 20 markets in the U.S., Canada and UK, along with a large number of university and business locations, Zipcar is the leader in car sharing. Their IPO last spring raised over $174 million. Cars available through the system include the Toyota Prius, and San Francisco members can get an advanced look at the Plug-in Prius.

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