On Mar 22, Zacks Investment Research upgraded
Carriage Services Inc.
) to a Zacks Rank #1 (Strong Buy). Shares of this personal
services company have recorded an impressive return of 184.4%
over the last one year.
CARRIAGE SVCS-A (CSV): Free Stock Analysis
SERVICE CORP IN (SCI): Free Stock Analysis
STEWART ENTRP A (STEI): Free Stock Analysis
STONEMOR PTNRS (STON): Free Stock Analysis
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Why the Upgrade?
Carriage Services has been witnessing rising earnings estimates
owing to better-than-expected fourth-quarter 2012 results on the
back of quick and transformative changes throughout 2012,
including major management reorganization and Funeral Standards
Operating Model updates.
Carriage Services, which primarily competes with
Stonemor Partners LP
), outperformed the Zacks Consensus Estimates in 3 out of the
trailing 4 quarters, with an average surprise of 12.2%. The
long-term expected earnings growth rate for the stock is 20%.
On Feb 25, Carriage Services posted fourth-quarter adjusted
earnings of 24 cents per share, beating the Zacks Consensus
Estimate of 23 cents. The company's total revenue of $53.3
million for the quarter was up 13.1% year over year and almost in
line with the Zacks Consensus Estimate of $53 million. Adjusted
consolidated EBITDA margin expanded 240 basis points to 25.5%.
Driven by the effective management changes in the past year as
well as the company's improved focus to boost performance, the
company substantially raised its Rolling Four Quarter Outlook of
Adjusted EPS to $1.11 to $1.14 from the previous guidance of
$1.03 to $1.05.
The Zacks Consensus Estimate for fiscal 2013 increased 9.7% to
$1.13 per share as most of the estimates were revised higher over
the last 30 days. Moreover, for fiscal 2014, the estimates were
revised higher over the same time frame, lifting the Zacks
Consensus Estimate by 6.7% to $1.27 per share.
Other Stocks to Consider
Besides Carriage Services, other stocks in the personal services
industry that are currently performing well include
Service Corp. International
Stewart Enterprises Inc.
), both of which hold a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy).