SAN DIEGO and JEFFERSON, La., May 29, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Shareholder rights attorneys at Robbins Arroyo LLP are investigating the acquisition of Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ: STEI) by Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI). On May 29, 2013, Service Corporation announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement with Stewart Enterprises, under which Service Corporation will acquire Stewart Enterprises for $13.25 per share in cash.
Is the Acquisition Best for Stewart Enterprises and Its Shareholders?
Robbins Arroyo LLP's investigation focuses on whether the board of directors at Stewart Enterprises is undertaking a fair process to obtain maximum value and adequately compensate its shareholders in the merger.On March 11, 2013, Stewart Enterprises released its financial results for the first quarter 2013, reflecting the company's highest quarterly net earnings and earnings per share in over ten years. Specifically, the company reported net earnings of $15.5 million as compared to $8.5 million in the same quarter 2012, while net earnings per share increased $.08 compared to the first quarter 2012 to $.18. Further, Stewart Enterprises reported same-store funeral service increased 8.4% generating a 9% increase in revenue and a 27% increase in gross profits. In announcing the results, Thomas M. Kitchen, the company's President and CEO, commented, "We produced a 9 percent improvement in total revenue, which led to a 27 percent improvement in total gross profit and an 80 percent increase in earnings per share compared to the same period last year. By continuing to execute our strategic plan and maintain our focus on employees and customers, we are well positioned to deliver stable, sustainable results over the long-term." Given these facts, the firm is examining the board of directors' decision to sell Stewart Enterprises now rather than allow shareholders to continue to participate in the company's continued success and future growth prospects.