SCI reports 1Q 2020. . . news on Carriage Services, Matthews

Yesterday funeral home and cemetery public company Service Corporation International (SCI) reported their financial results for the 1st Quarter of 2020.  The results were much anticipated because they are the first quarter where the “no large gatherings” rule had come into effect in funeral service.  To be candid, however, those rules only came into effect in the latter part of March and, therefore, represent only a small portion of the 2020 1st Quarter results.

SCI reported positive results in this press release which indicated that Q1 revenues for the company reached $803 million as compared to $798.2 million for the same quarter of 2019.  However, that is an increase of less than 1%.  Also, we have not yet dug into how the “same store” numbers look — that would be a look at revenues without acquisitions included.

The company posted an Operating Income of $151.8 million for Q1 2020 as compared to an Operating Income of $147.0 for Q1 2019.

Here are some quotes from SCI management on the results:

From CEO Tom Ryan:  “. . . . I am extremely proud that we came into this crisis in a very strong financial position. We have a strong balance sheet, tremendous liquidity, and a favorable debt maturity profile. This foundation will allow us to weather this storm.”

From Chief Operating Officer Jay Waring “.  . .As we have continued to ramp up and train more locations on streaming services through Dignity Memorial® Facebook pages, we are beginning to see an increase in the number of families choosing this option resulting in tens of thousands of views. “

Waring on Preneed  Sales:  “Our preneed sales teams are beginning to overcome social distancing obstacles by further leveraging technology and arranging virtual sales presentations with customers who currently prefer to participate from their home. . . . . . .Once this crisis is over, we believe we can capitalize on many of the technological solutions that are helping us manage through these unprecedented times.”

From Eric Tanzberger, SCI Chief Financial Officer:  “. . . we have deferred certain cash expenditures for corporate and field maintenance, cemetery development, and growth capital expenditures, and we believe we have the flexibility to adjust further. . . . . we anticipate the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on both our funeral and cemetery segments will result in a decline of our adjusted earnings per share, which we hope to minimize as we continue to be vigilant with our costs and expenses.”

News from Carriage Services:  Carriage Services released this press release yesterday where CEO Mel Payne announced, ““We have made the decision to delay our earnings release to May 19th to provide time to complete the accounting of our April performance and to monitor revenue trends for two full weeks of May. “

The Carriage release also made mention that the “Executive and Senior Leadership Teams” have made a decision to lead by example and reduce their own salaries as part of the “larger plan to reduce overall expenses throughout the rest of 2020.”

Information on Matthews InternationalHere is a press release from B. Riley sticking to their “Buy” rating on the stock of Matthews International.

*The author of this post owns stock in Service Corporation International

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