Matthews International, the Pittsburgh based consolidated company with a division in the death care industry that deals with memorials, cremation equipment, caskets, and more, had an interesting Friday after releasing their 4th quarter and year end earnings on Thursday. You can see a press release of their results here.
For the year the company reported record sales of over $1.6 billion, which is an $87 million (5.7%) increase over the previous year. Matthews accounts on a fiscal year beginning on October 1 and ending September 30 which is why this is the FY18 results.
Earlier in the week they announced raising the dividend that they pay to common stockholders from $ 0.19 per share to $ 0.20 per share per quarter. That amounts to an increase of just over 5% as well. Here is a press release on the dividend increase.
Finally, these results led to a closing stock price of Matthews stock on Friday of $43.29 per share as compared to the closing price on Thursday of $40.23 per share. That is a one day increase of 7.6% and the largest one day increase in the value of Matthews stock since October 4, 2011.
The company included in their press release information on the segment of the business that we like to really look at. . .that being their Memorialization business which includes, among other components, Matthews cremation equipment and supplies, Matthews memorial products, and Matthews Aurora Funeral Solutions. As to that segment, sales ended the year at $631.4 m which is a 2.5% increase over last years sales of $615.9 million.
Matthews did say about that sales increase, however, that the increase is primarily reflected in higher cremation equipment sales and the acquisition of Star Granite & Bronze (February 2018) and that memorial and casket sales volumes were lower than a year ago which reflects an estimated decline in U.S. casketed deaths.
We will be taking a look at the earnings call transcript to go deeper into these numbers as well as see how Matthews management team reflects on 2018.
Related—Matthews Aurora Funeral Services announces closing of Richmond plant by the end of 2019. You can see an article on this development here.