Finance

Finance

Assurant Agrees to Buy The Warranty Group

Assurant, a global leader in insurance coverage, covering things as diverse as appliances, autos, mobile devices, electronics, and funeral plans announced today that it will acquire The Warranty Group, a portfolio company of TPG Capital and restructure into a new organization still know as Assurant.  Assurant plans to spend about $2.5 billion in cash, stock, and assumed debt on the purchase. According to a release in Insurance Journal, Assurant said that the acquisition will help it build a greater presence […]

Business Cemetery Finance

StoneMor Amends Credit, Hints at Dividend Cut, Reduction of Units

StoneMor Parnters, LP, a publicly traded death care company that owns and operates both funeral homes and cemeteries announced in a        press release on Friday, October 6, 2017, that they will be amending their secured credit facility.  You can read about the modifications here. In reading the entire release, the Chairman of the Board, Robert B. Hellman, Jr. was quoted, “The decision to reduce our cash distribution for the second quarter is a difficult but necessary decision. […]

Finance

Assurant Estimates Hurricane Loses

Assurant, a major player in the funeral pre-need insurance industry has estimated losses in its Global Housing segment due to Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  The company said in a statement, reported by MarketWatch, that it expects losses, net of reinsurance, for Hurricane Harvey in the Texas gulf to be in a range of up to $140 million.  It also reported that losses from Hurricane Irma, in Florida, will total about $125 million.  The company also reported that it maintains a […]

Finance

StoneMor Opinion from Seeking Alpha

Seeking Alpha put out an article today written by The Growth Path Guru that questions StoneMor’s ability to increase sales and also tries to figure out where the cash for future distributions will come from.  It also suggests that StoneMor is being questioned by the SEC on some issues. Funeral Director Daily take:  I’ve said before I was a one-time stockholder in this company and it always seemed that they distributed more cash than they had in earnings.  Even I […]

Finance

Some History and Investment Perspective on Service Corporation International

I’m a buy and hold investor and enjoy learning about companies that over time will bring a nice positive return to my portfolio. I also like to learn as much as I can about companies and those in the death care industry give me added perspective — I always try to learn what they are doing right and apply it to my own business.  Many times I learned valuable lessons – that I put to work right at home – […]

Finance

Article on Seeking Alpha Expects StoneMor Dividend Cut

An article that appeared on Seeking Alpha on September 2, 2017, concludes that StoneMor Partners will be forced to either eliminate or greatly reduce their quarterly dividend soon.  StoneMor, a Master Limited Partnership built through funeral home and cemetery acquisitions has seen its stock plunge from about $26 per share in 2016 to a close of $6.59 per share last Friday.  The company owns 317 cemeteries and 105 funeral home properties. The article lists four reasons why the author believes […]

Finance

DCI Value Down Again, Yield Continues to Rise

We took a look at the Funeral Director Daily Death Care Index (DCI) at the close of the market day on Friday, August 18, 2017, which is a three month time period from when we last looked at it on May 19.  The DCI Index, which consists of one share of six publicly traded death care industry stocks, has continued its downward value trend by closing at $261.55 as compared to a value of $265.59 on May 19.  The stocks […]

Finance Preneed

A.M. Best Upgrades Great Western Insurance Credit Rating

A press release from BusinessWire has indicated that the Great Western Insurance Company (GWIC) of Ogden, Utah, has had  A.M. Best upgrade their Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating to “bbb+” from “bbb”.  The outlook of the Long-Term ICR has been revised to stable from positive while the outlook of the Financial Strength Rating is stable. The release continues with “GWIC is a prominent insurer in the pre-need space through it extensive funeral home distribution network targeting the growing senior population.  GWIC […]

Finance

Hillenbrand Industries posts 7% Increase in Revenues

Hillenbrand Industries, the parent company of Batesville Casket Company, posted 3rd Quarter earnings yesterday and did so by showing an increase in revenues to almost $396 million for the quarter.  That represents a 7% increase over the same quarter in 2016 and puts their fiscal year 9-month revenues about $38  million (3.4%) over the same period last year. Hillenbrand, a global diversified industrial company that serves a wide-variety of industries across the globe, reported that they have a very positive […]