StoneMor Partners L.P. (STON) Earnings: An Early Look

Earnings season is winding down, with most companies already having reported their quarterly results. But there are still some companies left to report, and StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) is about to release its quarterly earnings report. The key to making smart investment decisions with stocks releasing their quarter reports is to anticipate how they’ll do before they announce results, leaving you fully prepared to respond quickly to whatever inevitable surprises arise. That way, you’ll be less likely to make an uninformed, knee-jerk reaction to news that turns out to be exactly the wrong move.

StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) is a master limited partnership, but unlike most MLPs, it’s not in the energy or natural resources industries. Rather, it’s a funeral and death-services company, but its structure gives it some of the same tax benefits that more traditional MLPs enjoy. Let’s take an early look at what’s been happening with StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) over the past quarter and what we’re likely to see in its quarterly report on Friday.

Stats on StoneMor Partners

Analyst EPS Estimate ($0.06)
Year-Ago EPS ($0.16)
Revenue Estimate $62.3 million
Change From Year-Ago Revenue 6.1%
Earnings Beats in Past 4 Quarters 2

Source: Yahoo! Finance.

Will StoneMor Partners make investors some money this quarter?
Analysts have gotten a tiny bit more optimistic about StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) over the past few months, raising their consensus earnings call for the just-ended quarter by a penny per share and boosting full-year 2013 projections by $0.02 per share. But even though the company is still expected to lose money throughout 2013, the MLP’s unit price has risen by more than 20% since early December.

Matthews International Corp (NASDAQ:MATW)StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) owns and operates cemeteries and funeral homes. Although that may not seem like a very lively business, StoneMor actually faces quite a bit of competition, and lately those competitors have seen a lot faster growth and better earnings than the MLP. In particular, Carriage Services, Inc. (NYSE:CSV) share price more than doubled since October as it beat earnings estimates two weeks ago and announced positive guidance. Rivals Matthews International Corp (NASDAQ:MATW) and Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (NASDAQ:STEI) have also found ways to earn positive income from their death-services operations, as both have tapped into the demographic trends of an aging population to offer both immediate and pre-need arrangements.

Yet StoneMor’s earnings can be somewhat misleading, due to the vagaries of accounting rules that Fool analyst Alex Pape has argued completely distort the reality of the business. With flexibility to take money out of pre-need burial trusts by delivering what it sold, the company has a lot of control over what its financial statements look like, making quarterly results difficult to interpret. What investors can’t argue with, though, is the 9% yield the MLP current pays in dividends.

In its quarterly report, look for StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) to give guidance on how it’s doing at integrating its ongoing series of acquisitions. With so many small players in the industry, consolidation is the obvious path to growth and could make a big difference in how StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) compares to its peers.

The article StoneMor Partners Earnings: An Early Look originally appeared on Fool.com and is written by Dan Caplinger.

Fool contributor Dan Caplinger has no position in any stocks mentioned. You can follow him on Twitter @DanCaplinger. The Motley Fool recommends and owns shares of StoneMor Partners.

Copyright © 1995 – 2013 The Motley Fool, LLC. All rights reserved. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Biotech Insider Alert - $6 Stock To Hit $40

$200 Million Dollar Healthcare Hedge Fund's #1 Best Idea Right Now

The best healthcare hedge fund out there right now is one of the largest shareholders in this biotech stock. The fund returned more than 20% in each of the last 2 years with a virtually fully hedged portfolio, and it's sending out a BUY signal on this biotech stock. Get your FREE REPORT today (retail value of $300)

This is a FREE report from Insider Monkey. Credit Card is NOT required.
Comments
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy
Insider Monkey Small Cap Strategy

Insider Monkey beat the market by 52 percentage points in 24 months. Our beta is only 1.2 (don't click this link if beating the market isn't important to you).

Lists

The Best Romance Movies of all Time

The Most Wanted Drug Lords

The Oldest Money Managers

The Greatest Directors in the World

Largest Animals in the World

World’s Most Expensive Desserts

Best Selling Comic Books of All Time

A-list Actors who Sabotaged Their Career

Rappers With a College Degree

The Best Jazz Albums of all Time

The Most Influential Jazz Musicians

The World’s Most Famous Photographers

The Best Oscar-Winning Songs

Most Influential Choreographers Ever

Most Expensive Department Stores in the World

The Most Expensive Stolen Paintings in the World

The World’s Most Expensive Teas

Top Oscar Record Holders

The Most Expensive Flowers in the World

Countries With a Booming Film Industry

Most Expensive Cupcakes in the World

Uncommon European Escapes

The Most Stolen Artists in History

Best Travel Destinations in Australia

World’s Most Expensive Musical Instruments

World’s Most Famous Animals

Most Expensive Cakes in the World

Most Expensive Kosher Champagne in the World

Most Expensive Kosher Wine in the World

The Most Surprisingly Dark Fairy Tales

Most Popular Travel Destinations in Asia

The 10 Most Expensive Dresses Ever Worn to the Oscars

World’s Most Visited Art Museums

Best Countries for Photographers to Work in

Best Paid Jobs in the Film Industry

The Most Renowned Recovered Paintings Ever

Child Stars That Turned out Just Fine

Books That Were Banned in the Past Century

World’s Richest Dancers

Best Remedies against Bad Breath

Foods That Improve Your Skin Texture

Best-Selling Children’s Books of all Time

Foods That Boost Your Libido

Best-Selling Books of all Time

The Most Expensive Academy Awards Jewelry in History

Most Expensive Japanese Restaurant In New York City

The Best B-Boy Movies

Most Awesome Hip Hop Documentaries

Foods That Stain Your Teeth

Richest Doctors in the World

Subscribe

Enter your email:

Delivered by FeedBurner

X

Thanks! An email with instructions is sent to !

Your email already exists in our database. Click here to go to your subscriptions

Insider Monkey returned 129% in 2.5 years!! Wondering How?

Download a complete edition of our newsletter for free!