It’s like a broken record. James Hickman writes an article about the NYC taxi medallion financial industry, the article has verifiable lies, I refute the lies. Repeat.
This time it’s an article that pronounces how much trouble the taxi medallion financial business is in because revenues in May never quite reached the same levels as in previous years, as far as gross revenues collected. Here’s the chart from short seller James Hickman:
The problem with this chart of the taxi medallion financial business, and Hickman knows it, is that NYC initiated a 17% fare increase in September of 2014. So of course, the spike in the chart around that time looks very dramatic…as does ANY decline off of it.
In truth, Hickman should have created a chart that keeps everything in constant dollars, so a fair picture is presented to investors. He’s all stern and serious about presenting a moving 5-month average of taxi fares on the one hand, but if he can make a chart of the taxi medallion financial business really scary, he will.
I don’t have May 2015 data yet, but I have Jan-April for every year going back to 2009. As I’ve already discussed, there’s only been a 6.3% decline in average gross farebox revenue from 2013 to 2015. This is a modest decline in the face of a 4x increase in UberX drivers in NYC (actually closer to 5x).
New drivers are being registered, but that doesn’t mean that they are all on the road. In fact, it’s likely that there’s a relatively stable supply of UberX drivers, that may grow modestly over the next year. Nevertheless, as the same link above also shows, it would take more than a 50% revenue decline for taxi owners to even begin questioning about paying their loans.
The taxi medallion financial industry remains resilient, yet dishonest shorts like James Hickman will keep doing their best to distract from reality.