Service Corporation International Announces Fourth Quarter 2020 Financial Results And Provides 2021 Guidance
February 15, 2021 at 15:30 PM EST
HOUSTON, Feb. 15, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI), the largest provider of deathcare products and services in North America, today reported results for the fourth quarter of 2020.
Tom Ryan, the Company's President, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer, commented on COVID-19 and fourth quarter results:
"As we experienced another quarter that will be remembered for its significant challenges, our associates can look back with pride for the innovative ways in which our teams stepped up to serve our communities, our customers, and each other. The steadfast dedication and courage of our teams has been nothing short of heroic over these many months and is reflective of our compassionate culture at SCI. I want to say to our entire SCI family, and particularly to our frontline associates, thank you for your courage and resolve, and for continuing to focus on the importance of the safety of our client families, communities, and colleagues.
Today we are reporting fourth quarter earnings per share of $1.15 and adjusted earnings per share of $1.13, a $0.53 increase over adjusted earnings per share for the prior year quarter. The growth was driven by elevated COVID-19 mortality which resulted in an increase in both funeral services performed and burials in our cemeteries. We also continued to benefit from a more efficient cost structure that helped drive significant improvement in both funeral and cemetery margins. Comparable preneed cemetery sales production continued to be strong and was higher by $40 million, or 16%, compared to the prior year quarter due to a higher velocity of contracts sold. Net cash provided by operating activities grew approximately $88 million over the prior year quarter, primarily due to increased operating profit."
Fourth Quarter Highlights:
FOURTH QUARTER AND FULL YEAR SUMMARY
Details of our fourth quarter 2020 financial results and the consolidated financial statements can be found in the Appendix at the end of this press release. The table below summarizes our key financial results.
OUTLOOK FOR 2021
The guidance provided below has a wider range than usual due to the continued uncertainty around the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. This outlook assumes that the impact of COVID-19 will continue into the first half of 2021. Our outlook for net cash provided by operating activities excluding special items reflects an estimated $20 million of payroll tax payments in 2021 that were deferred from 2020 as allowed under the CARES Act. We will also incur normal payroll taxes in 2021 of approximately $40 million (which we were able to defer in 2020). These combined items represent a $60 million of additional cash outflows when compared to 2020.
CONFERENCE CALL AND WEBCAST
We will host a conference call on Tuesday, February 16, 2021, at 8:00 a.m. Central Time. A question and answer session will follow a brief presentation made by management. The conference call dial-in numbers are (888) 317-6003 (US) or (412) 317-6061 (International) with the passcode of 2558326. The conference call will also be broadcast live via the Internet and can be accessed through our website at www.sci-corp.com. A replay of the conference call will be available through February 23, 2021 and can be accessed at (877) 344-7529 (US) or (412) 317-0088 (International) with the passcode of 10150691. Additionally, a replay of the conference call will be available on our website for approximately one year.
ABOUT SERVICE CORPORATION INTERNATIONAL
Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI), headquartered in Houston, Texas, is North America's leading provider of deathcare products and services. At December 31, 2020, we owned and operated 1,470 funeral service locations and 483 cemeteries (of which 297 are combination locations) in 44 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Through our businesses, we market the Dignity Memorial® brand which offers assurance of quality, value, caring service, and exceptional customer satisfaction. For more information about Service Corporation International, please visit our website at www.sci-corp.com. For more information about Dignity Memorial®, please visit www.dignitymemorial.com.
CAUTIONARY STATEMENT ON FORWARD-LOOKING STATEMENTS
The statements in this press release that are not historical facts are forward-looking statements made in reliance on the "safe harbor" protections provided under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements may be accompanied by words such as "believe," "estimate," "project," "expect," "anticipate," or "predict," that convey the uncertainty of future events or outcomes. These statements are based on assumptions that we believe are reasonable; however, many important factors could cause our actual results in the future to differ materially from the forward-looking statements made herein and in any other documents or oral presentations made by us, or on our behalf. Important factors, which could cause actual results to differ materially from those in forward-looking statements include, among others, the following:
For further information on these and other risks and uncertainties, see our Securities and Exchange Commission filings, including our 2020 Annual Report on Form 10-K. Copies of this document as well as other SEC filings can be obtained from our website at www.sci-corp.com. We assume no obligation and make no undertaking to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or any other forward-looking statements made by us whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise.
SERVICE CORPORATION INTERNATIONAL
Comparable Funeral Results
The table below details comparable funeral results of operations ("same store") for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. We consider comparable funeral operations to be those businesses owned for the entire period beginning January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2020.
Comparable Cemetery Results
The table below details comparable cemetery results of operations ("same store") for the three months ended December 31, 2020 and 2019. We consider comparable cemetery operations to be those businesses owned for the entire period beginning January 1, 2019 and ending December 31, 2020.
Other Financial Results
Net cash provided by operating activities increased $88.3 million to $244.9 million in the fourth quarter of 2020 compared to $156.6 million in the fourth quarter of 2019. This increase is primarily due to higher gross profit of $97.5 million coupled with $28.1 million lower cash interest payments resulting from recent debt transactions. We also continued to benefit by $12.6 million from the deferral of payroll taxes as allowed under the CARES Act. These increases were partially offset by an increase in federal and state cash tax payments of $24.9 million compared to the prior year quarter predominately due to higher earnings in the current period as well as increased preneed working capital uses during the quarter. The reduction in working capital primarily related to the substantial growth in cemetery preneed property sales in the quarter. Recall that cash receipts related to preneed property sales are generally received on an installment basis over a three to five year period.
A summary of our capital expenditures is set forth below:
Total capital expenditures increased in the current quarter by $3.8 million primarily due to the timing of various cemetery development and construction projects throughout the year as we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trust Fund Returns
Total trust fund returns include realized and unrealized gains and losses and dividends and are shown gross without netting of certain fees. A summary of our consolidated trust fund returns as of December 31, 2020 is set forth below:
Non-GAAP Financial Measures
Earnings excluding special items and diluted earnings per share excluding special items shown above are non-GAAP financial measures. We believe these non-GAAP financial measures provide a consistent basis for comparison between quarters and years, and better reflect the performance of our core operations, as they are not influenced by certain income or expense items not affecting operations. We also believe these measures help facilitate comparisons to our competitors' operating results.
Set forth below is a reconciliation of our reported net income attributable to common stockholders to earnings excluding special items and our GAAP diluted earnings per share to diluted earnings per share excluding special items. We do not intend for this information to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
SOURCE Service Corporation International