StoneMor Partners reports year end 2018

In a news release from April 2 that you can read here, StoneMor Partners reported their financial results for the 4th Quarter of 2018 as well as the full year 2018.  As you may know, the company has been filing delayed SEC reports but this report puts them pretty much on schedule.

Here are some results that StoneMor reported:

  • Revenue for the quarter was very close to last year’s as in 2018 revenue was reported as $83.4 million as compared to 2017’s $85.3 million
  • StoneMor cut their loss for the 4th Quarter from -$45.5 million in 2017 to -$20.5 million in 2018.
  • For the full year the company recorded revenues of $316.1 million as compared to $338.2 million in 2017.
  • For the full year the company reported a loss of -$72.7 million as compared to a loss of -$75.2 million in 2017.
  • Finally, the company reported it had a total debt outstanding of $321.1 million at the end of the year.

StoneMor Partner’s CEO Joe Redling said, “2018 was a transitional year for StoneMor on many levels. . . .Our cost reduction effort is well underway.  To date, we have identified approximately $25 million in expense reductions that we believe will be eliminated by the end of 2019. . . We are committed to enhancing unitholder value, demonstrating compassion and dignity for our customers, and creating a rewarding work environment for our employees.

According to the release, StoneMor Partners owns 322 cemeteries and 90 funeral homes in 27 states and Puerto Rico.

Funeral Director Daily take:  You have to give them some credit at StoneMor.  They are working hard on transforming this company to a profitable going concern.  One of the positives that we see is that revenue is stabilizing as for the year revenue was down about 6.5% but for the 4th quarter it was down only 2.2%.  There is no doubt that you have to be able to continue to make sales that give you revenue to give you time to make the adjustments that have to be made to return to profitability.  At least in the 4th quarter it looks like StoneMor is stabilizing.

StoneMor did $316 million in revenue and has $321 million in debt — that’s a 1:1 ratio. . . . more than I would like in my business, but not insurmountable.  I think a big question that is out there for StoneMor is can they show a ” path to profitability” so that new equity can be infused?

My opinion has always been that StoneMor Partners is more a cemetery company than a funeral home company.  I wonder if they may get back to that operating plan by liquidating some of the 90 funeral homes that they own and use that cash to move into the path I mentioned above.

One of the challenges to that solution is that they will be counting on cemetery revenue in a day and age when we are having less and less traditional earth burials.

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