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Earnings Report Summary Q2 2021

Executive Summary

As we saw in Q1 of 2021, all four corporations experienced increases in quarter-over-quarter revenue as well as year to date—three of the four in double digits (Park Lawn saw an 8.5% net revenue increase in Q2).

The six-month increases were substantial for all four corporations (all in double-digit territory).

Although we are seeing an increase in revenue per call due to fewer Covid-related restrictions as call volume remains static on the most part, the one trend that stands out is the success of preneed sales across the board, especially on the cemetery side.

It’s worth noting that all four of the deathcare corporations in this report attributed its preneed success to the efforts of its sales teams. In other words, although demand for preneeds has increased since the pandemic, these sales didn’t just walk through the door. Each corporation was able to take advantage of a change in market conditions through a systematic approach by a dedicated sales team.

On a side note: Although not part of this report, both Matthews International and Hillenbrand’s Batesville division reported a decline in casket sales in Q2 2021, but Matthews did report an increase in memorization sales. This speaks to call volume leveling off nationwide.

Shares of Funeral Director Daily’s Death Care Index (DCI), which is comprised of all seven public deathcare firms in the US, saw a cumulative gain of 14.7% in the first six months of 2021. This number beats the Dow Jones, S&P 500, and the Nasdaq, which are at 12.7%, 14.4%, and 12.5% respectively.

Carriage Services

Carriage Services announced a record Q2 with its cemeteries performing exceptionally well.

Cemetery same-store revenue was $16.5 million in Q2 2021 compared to $11.5 million in the same quarter of last year, generating an increase of 43%. Carriage stated the major driver of their record Q2 cemetery performance was significantly higher preneed cemetery property sales due in large part to the sales organization Carlos Quezada built over the past year.

Carriage also reported a modest increase of $327 per service (all services) in Q2 2021 compared to 2020, which is an increase of 6.7%.

The number of calls remained static for Carriage (9,061 in Q2 2021 compared to 9,056 in Q2 2020)—differing from SCI, which saw a 6% decrease in calls. Funeral Director Daily attributed the difference to the fact that Carriage operates in more rural and suburban locations whereas SCI has major properties in larger cities, such as NYC, which saw higher Covid-related fatalities in 2020.

Highlights:

  • Total revenue for Q2: $88.2 million—an increase of $10.2 million over the same quarter in 2020 (13.9% increase).
  • Total revenue for first six months of 2021: $184.9 million—an increase of $29.9 million over 2020 (19.3% increase).
  • Q2 2021 cemetery same store revenue increased 43% over Q2 2020.

SCI

Service Corporation International (SCI) gained an average revenue-per-call increase of over $600: $5,324 per case in 2021 compared to $4,733 per case in Q2 of 2020. However, the number of overall cases dropped 6% in this year’s quarter to 84,449 from 89,675 in Q2 2020, which was expected due to the pandemic’s impact last year.

Total company revenue increased 20.4% in Q2 2021 compared to the same quarter of last year ($987.5 million compared to $820 million).

Preneed contracts increased 30%—over 58,000 in Q2 2021 compared to 41,000 in 2020. Core funeral locations saw a 61.9% increase in preneed sales and non-funeral channels saw a 40.1% increase. SCI attributed the increase to a “significant growth in digital and direct mail leads, as well as the gradual return of local marketing events and in-person seminars.”

The cremation rate remained relatively unchanged: 59.1% in Q2 2021 compared to 58.9% in Q2 2020.

Highlights:

  • Total revenue for Q2: $987.5 million—an increase of 20.4% over the same quarter of last year.
  • Revenue per call increased over $600 from Q2 2021 compared to Q2 2020.
  • Net income rose to $157.7 million in 2021 from $105.5 million in Q2 of 2020.
  • Net income for the first six months of 2021 has more than doubled from 2020 ($386.6 million compared to $187.4 million).
  • Preneed contracts increased 30%—over 58,000 in Q2 2021 compared to 41,000 in 2020.

StoneMor

The Pennsylvania-based corporation announced that sales during Q2 of 2021 were the best in the company’s history. Although they are seeing at-needs level off to just slight increases year-over-year, they are seeing substantial growth in their cemetery properties, which owns 301 cemeteries compared to 70 funeral homes. Cemetery revenue (including investment income) increased 26.8% at $72.1 million compared to $56.8 million from the same period last year. Cemetery operating income for Q2 2021 was $14.7 million compared to $7.4 million in Q2 2020.

Another item of note was the announcement of its partnership with Empathy, a technology start-up that helps families deal with a variety of end-of-life issues via its app from funeral planning to estate management to grief counseling.

Highlights:

  • Total revenue for Q2: $83 million—up from $66.6 million in Q2 2020 and a 24.5% increase.
  • Six-month revenue was $161.3 million compared to $131.7 million from the year prior.
  • Preneed cemetery sales growth increased 26% from Q2 2020.

Park Lawn

Although the Toronto-based corporation expected its call volume to normalize to pre-pandemic levels, it did saw its call volume increase quarter-over-quarter, heavily driven by its funeral home acquisitions and improvements in operating performance. Averages per contract increased, and demand for its preneed funeral and preneed cemetery products grew as well. They believe the pandemic served as a trigger event for preneeds, which they expect to continue for another 18-24 months if not longer. Also, Park Lawn announced it signed purchase agreements for funeral properties in Nashville, which they expect to close in August 2021. These properties are expected to add US $5.84 million in annual EBIDTA.

Highlights

  • Net revenue for Q2 2021: $88.4 million (US $68.9 million)—8.5% increase from Q2 2020.
  • Six-month revenue increased 16.5% year-over-year.
  • Adjusted EBITDA in Q2 2021 increased to $22.7 million (US $17.7 million) from $19.5 million (US $15.2 million) Q2 2020—an increase of 16.6%.

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