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Stewart Enterprises Reports Results For The Third Quarter Of 2013

JEFFERSON, La., Sept. 9, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEI) reported today its results for the third quarter of 2013.
  Three Months Ended July 31, Nine Months Ended July 31,
  2013 2012 2013 2012
  millions per diluted share millions per diluted share millions per diluted share millions per diluted share
Net earnings $ 8.3  $ .10  $ 9.6  $ .11  $ 35.6  $ .41  $ 26.9  $ .31 
Net earnings from continuing operations $ 8.3  $ .10  $ 9.9  $ .11  $ 35.6  $ .41  $ 28.3  $ .32 
Adjusted earnings from continuing operations (1) $ 8.0  $ .09  $ 9.6  $ .11  $ 33.9  $ .39  $ 30.1  $ .34 
(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 third quarter of 2013 proved to be a challenging period for the Company, with the pending merger with SCI and continued refinements to our sales initiatives. When we started our new sales initiatives, we expected it would be a process that while beneficial in the long-term, would cause short-term disruptions.  In July 2013, we experienced the best month of cemetery property sales since the implementation of the new sales initiatives earlier this year, which we believe indicates that the initiatives are generating positive momentum. We continue to believe that the new structure will improve customer service and increase preneed sales over time.   Operating results were also impacted adversely by the timing of revenue recognition for cemetery construction projects and for cemetery property sales.  As construction occurs and additional payments are received, these contracts will be recognized as revenue in the future.  Additionally, margins for the quarter were negatively impacted due to expenses that exceeded the prior year quarter, particularly increased selling expenses for sales of preneed funerals, which are recognized currently while the related revenue is deferred to a future period. We are continuing to refine the overall sales compensation program."

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