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Stewart Enterprises Reports A 40 Percent Increase In Earnings Per Share To $.14 For The Second Quarter Of 2013

JEFFERSON, La., June 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEI) reported today its results for the second quarter of 2013. Earnings from continuing operations were $11.9 million compared to $9.6 million for the second quarter of 2012. On a diluted per share basis for the three months ended April 30, 2013, the Company reported earnings from continuing operations of $.14 and adjusted earnings from continuing operations of $.15 per share, compared to $.11 per share for reported earnings and $.13 per share for adjusted earnings for the same period of last year.
  Three Months Ended April 30, Six Months Ended April 30,
  2013 2012 2013 2012
  millions per share millions per share millions per share millions per share
Net earnings $ 11.9  $ .14  $ 8.7  $ .10  $ 27.4  $ .32  $ 17.3  $ .20 
Net earnings from continuing operations $ 11.9  $ .14  $ 9.6  $ .11  $ 27.4  $ .32  $ 18.5  $ .21 
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations (1) $ 12.9  $ .15  $ 11.4  $ .13  $ 26.0  $ .30  $ 20.5  $ .23 
(1) See table "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures" for additional information on adjusted earnings and adjusted earnings per share from continuing operations.

Thomas M. Kitchen, President and Chief Executive Officer, stated, "The previously announced definitive merger agreement by Service Corporation International ("SCI") is evidence of the value we have created in the Company, and we are pleased to see that benefit recognized for our shareholders. We will continue to operate the business with a high degree of performance and believe that fiscal year 2013 is off to a strong start.  For the six months ended April 30, 2013, we improved adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 27 percent and adjusted earnings per share by 30 percent.  These improvements were driven by a $12 million increase in revenue and a $10 million increase in gross profit, which reflects the highest six months of revenue and gross profit in six years. We are pleased with our second quarter results which include an increase in gross profit by 10 percent, adjusted earnings from continuing operations by 13 percent and adjusted earnings per share by 15 percent as compared to the second quarter of 2012.   Our funeral business benefitted from an improvement in same-store calls for the fourth consecutive quarter, which contributed to a 3 percent improvement in funeral revenue compared to the second quarter of last year. Overall our cemetery business produced a 29 percent improvement in gross profit, primarily from an increase in our revenue related to trust activities, combined with a reduction in our expenses throughout the quarter. Some additional highlights of the second quarter compared to the same quarter of last year include:
  • Improving overall revenue, gross profit and earnings from continuing operations for the fifth consecutive quarter and improving same-store funeral services for the fourth consecutive quarter;  
  • Generating operating cash flow of $33.2 million, an improvement of $12.5 million, and free cash flow of $29.9 million, an improvement of $13.0 million;  
  • Realizing an 8 percent improvement in adjusted EBITDA to $32.3 million or a 24.1 percent adjusted EBITDA margin, as discussed in the table "Reconciliation of Non-GAAP Financial Measures;"  
  • Producing total returns for the quarter of 6 percent in our preneed trusts and 5 percent in our cemetery perpetual care trusts; and  
  • Announcing a 12.5 percent increase in the Company's quarterly dividend to $.045 per share and returning $3.8 million in dividends to our shareholders."

Mr. Kitchen concluded, "Our balance sheet and liquidity remain strong with $103.4 million in cash and marketable securities on hand as of April 30, 2013, with no amounts borrowed on our $150 million credit facility. For the first six months of fiscal year 2013, we have generated $45 million in operating cash flow. We believe our ability to consistently produce strong cash flow is one of the many reasons why SCI is paying a significant premium for the Company."

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