HOUSTON, January 19, 2020 – Shares of Service Corporation International (NYSE: SCI) gained 0.12% to $48.51. The stock traded total volume of 20.454K shares lower than the average volume of 839.27K shares.
Service Corporation International (SCI) reported that net cash provided by operating activities was $209.30M in the third quarter of 2019 compared to $136.90M in the third quarter of 2018 primarily due to lower cash taxes and cash interest, improved at need operating results, as well as positive working capital impacts.
During the third quarter, we returned $55.50M to shareholders through share repurchases and dividends and invested $44.60M in land for new cemeteries and the construction of new funeral service locations. For the nine months ended September 30, 2019, we returned $150.80M to shareholders through a combination of share repurchases and dividends and deployed $94.40M of capital to accretive acquisitions, land for new cemeteries, and the construction of new funeral service locations.
Other Financial Results:
General and administrative expenses decreased $11.70M to $29.40M in the third quarter of 2019, primarily related to higher expenses in the prior year for our long-term incentive compensation plan that is tied to increases in total shareholder return.
We incurred a $9.10M loss on early extinguishment of debt related to open market debt repurchases that occurred during the third quarter of 2019. Additionally, we refinanced our 4.5% Senior Notes due November 2020 into our Bank Credit Facility due May 2024 during the quarter.
Cash Flow and Capital Spending:
Net cash provided by operating activities excluding special items increased $72.40M to $209.30M in the third quarter of 2019. The increase is due to improved profitability especially from our atneed operations, improved preneed installment collections, and other working capital items. Additionally, we experienced $18.10M of lower cash taxes paid and $8.30M of lower cash interest paid. The decrease in cash interest paid primarily relates to the timing of new senior notes and our redemption of existing senior notes that occurred during the second quarter.
Total capital expenditures increased in the current quarter by $1.40M primarily due to higher recurring capital expenditures at existing locations in order to remain relevant with our customers.
SCI has the market capitalization of $8.78B and its EPS growth ratio for the past five years was 27.70%. The return on assets ratio of the Company was 3.20% while its return on investment ratio stands at 11.60%. Price to sales ratio was 2.74 while 91.90% of the stock was owned by institutional investors.