NEW ORLEANS, LA, December 17, 2012 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (NasdaqGS:STEI) reported today its results for the fourth quarter and fiscal year ended October 31, 2012. Earnings from continuing operations for the fourth quarter of 2012 were $9.1 million compared to $8.8 million for the fourth quarter of 2011 and $37.5 million for fiscal year 2012 compared to $39.3 million for fiscal year 2011. Fiscal year 2011 results included an after-tax benefit of $7.5 million from the Company's successful settlement of Hurricane Katrina litigation. On a diluted per share basis for the three and twelve months ended October 31, 2012, the Company reported earnings from continuing operations of $.11 and $.43 per share and adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $.12 and $.46 per share, respectively.
|Three Months Ended October 31,||Twelve Months Ended October 31,|
|millions||per share||millions||per share||millions||per share||millions||per share|
|Net earnings (1)||$ 9.0||$ .11||$ 8.5||$ .10||$ 35.9||$ .41||$ 38.6||$ .42|
|Net earnings from continuing operations (1)||$ 9.1||$ .11||$ 8.8||$ .10||$ 37.5||$ .43||$ 39.3||$ .43|
|Adjusted earnings from continuing operations (2)||$ 10.1||$ .12||$ 8.4||$ .09||$ 40.2||$ .46||$ 35.6||$ .39|
|(1) The year ended October 31, 2011 included a $12.4 million ($7.5 million after tax, or $.08 per diluted share) recovery related to the settlement of the Hurricane Katrina litigation.|
|(2) See table "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for additional information on adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations.|
- Increasing cemetery gross profit by 20 percent and funeral gross profit by 4 percent, while expanding cemetery gross profit margin by 250 basis points and funeral gross profit margin by 100 basis points;
- Producing total annual returns of 11 percent in our preneed trusts and 13 percent in our perpetual care trusts;
- Experiencing the highest annual cemetery property and preneed funeral production in five years;
- Improving cemetery cremation sales by 15 percent while investing approximately $8 million in our new cremation inventory development projects;
- Realizing a 7 percent improvement in adjusted EBITDA to $109.6 million, as discussed in the table "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures;"
- Purchasing 4 million shares of the Company's outstanding Class A common stock, including 1 million repurchased in the fourth quarter, resulting in a 3.5 percent decrease in total shares outstanding in fiscal year 2012;
- Announcing a 14 percent increase in the Company's annual dividend to $.16 per share and returning $13.3 million in dividends to our shareholders; and
- Generating operating cash flow of $76.5 million and free cash flow of $61.4 million. As of October 31, 2012, the Company had more than $78 million of cash and marketable securities with no amounts borrowed on our $150 million credit facility."