TREVOSE, Pa., Oct. 27, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- StoneMor Partners L.P. (NYSE:STON) (“StoneMor” or the “Partnership”) today announced a quarterly cash distribution of $0.33 per common unit for the 3rd quarter 2016. This represents a reduction of 50% from the prior year 3rd quarter. Larry Miller, President and CEO of StoneMor, commented, “As previously discussed, we are working to re-grow our sales force, increasing both its quality and size. To accomplish this, we have recently engaged a national recruiting firm, increased our in-house recruiting efforts, and hired a national vice-president of sales, all of which we expect will yield significant improvements in the months ahead. However, previous efforts to accomplish our salesforce goals have meaningfully lagged our expectations, resulting in a negative impact on our revenue. While 3rd quarter 2016 results are not yet final, preliminary data has led the General Partner and the Board of Directors to temporarily reduce the quarterly cash distribution to $0.33 per unit. This distribution level, along with previously announced cost savings measures totaling $7 million annually, will enhance StoneMor’s liquidity by approximately $12 million in quarterly cash savings.”
Robert B. Hellman, Jr., lead director of the Board of Directors and Chairman of the General Partner, added, “The General Partner strongly believes that this reduction, while disappointing, will protect and position the Partnership to achieve our longer-term expectations for future growth of the business. During this temporary transition period, the General Partner remains committed to providing necessary resources and support to the Partnership, including the funding of acquisitions that are immediately cash accretive, while it strengthens its sales force.”
Larry Miller continued, “While we are striving to accelerate the timeline of hiring and training additional sales talent, we estimate that this could take up to an additional six to nine months to attain the level of productivity we expect. We intend to provide monthly updates on the sales team expansion for greater visibility on our progress to the levels we are targeting. At that time, we will reassess the distribution and will look to reset it at the appropriate level.”
The 3rd quarter 2016 cash distribution is payable on November 14, 2016 to common unit holders of record as of the close of business on November 7, 2016.
StoneMor plans to hold an investors' conference call to discuss its 3rd quarter financial results (which will be released before this call) on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at 11:00 AM ET. The conference call can be accessed by calling (800) 668-9550. An audio replay of the conference call will be available by calling (800) 633-8284 through 1:00 PM ET on November 23, 2016. The reservation number for the audio replay is: 21821108. The audio replay of the conference call will also be archived on StoneMor's website at www.stonemor.com.
StoneMor will also host a live webcast of this conference call. Investors may access the live webcast via the Investors page of the StoneMor website under Events & Presentations.
About StoneMor Partners L.P.
StoneMor Partners L.P., headquartered in Trevose, Pennsylvania, is an owner and operator of cemeteries and funeral homes in the United States, with 317 cemeteries and 105 funeral homes in 29 states and Puerto Rico.
StoneMor is the only publicly traded death care company structured as a partnership. StoneMor’s cemetery products and services, which are sold on both a pre-need (before death) and at-need (at death) basis, include: burial lots, lawn and mausoleum crypts, burial vaults, caskets, memorials, and all services which provide for the installation of this merchandise. For additional information about StoneMor Partners L.P., please visit StoneMor’s website, and the investors section, at http://www.stonemor.com.
This press release is intended to be a qualified notice under Treasury Regulation Section 1.1446-4(b). Brokers and nominees should treat one hundred percent (100.0%) of StoneMor's distributions to non-U.S. investors as being attributable to income that is effectively connected with a United States trade or business. Accordingly, StoneMor's distributions to non-U.S. investors are subject to federal income tax withholding at the highest applicable effective tax rate.
Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
Certain statements contained in this press release, including, but not limited to, information regarding the status and progress of StoneMor’s operating activities, the plans and objectives of StoneMor’s management, assumptions regarding StoneMor’s future performance and plans, and any financial guidance provided or guidance related to StoneMor’s future distributions, as well as certain information in StoneMor’s other filings with the SEC and elsewhere, are forward-looking statements. Generally, the words “believe,” “may,” “will,” “estimate,” “continue,” “anticipate,” “intend (including, but not limited to StoneMor’s intent to maintain or increase its distributions),” “project,” “expect,” “predict” and similar expressions identify these forward-looking statements.
These forward-looking statements are based on management’s current expectations and estimates. These statements are neither promises nor guarantees and are made subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those stated or implied by the forward-looking statements, including, without limitation, risks relating to StoneMor’s ability to meet cost savings from the workforce realignment, uncertainties associated with the cash flow from pre-need and at-need sales, trusts and financings, which may impact StoneMor’s ability to meet its financial projections, its ability to service its debt and pay distributions, and its ability to increase its distributions.
StoneMor’s additional risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, the following: uncertainties associated with additional information that may arise from StoneMor’s continuing analysis and review of the historical allocation of net income (loss) to the general partner and limited partners and its prior financial statements, as well as the review and audit by StoneMor’s independent auditors of StoneMor’s prior financial statements, StoneMor’s ability to maintain an effective system of internal controls and disclosure controls, future revenue and revenue growth; uncertainties associated with the integration or anticipated benefits of recent acquisitions or any future acquisitions; StoneMor’s ability to complete and fund additional acquisitions; the effect of economic downturns; the impact of StoneMor’s significant leverage on its operating plans; the decline in the fair value of certain equity and debt securities held in StoneMor’s trusts; StoneMor’s ability to attract, train and retain an adequate number of sales people; uncertainties associated with the volume and timing of pre-need sales of cemetery services and products; increased use of cremation; changes in the death rate; changes in the political or regulatory environments, including potential changes in tax accounting and trusting policies; StoneMor’s ability to successfully implement a strategic plan relating to achieving operating improvements, strong cash flows and further deleveraging; StoneMor’s ability to successfully compete in the cemetery and funeral home industry; litigation or legal proceedings that could expose StoneMor to significant liabilities and damage StoneMor’s reputation; the effects of cyber security attacks due to StoneMor’s significant reliance on information technology; uncertainties relating to the financial condition of third-party insurance companies that fund StoneMor’s pre-need funeral contracts; and various other uncertainties associated with the death care industry and StoneMor’s operations in particular.
When considering forward-looking statements, you should keep in mind the risk factors and other cautionary statements set forth in StoneMor’s Annual Report on Form 10-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on February 29, 2016 and the other reports that StoneMor files with the Securities and Exchange Commission, from time to time. Except as required under applicable law, StoneMor assumes no obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements made herein or any other forward-looking statements made by it, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
CONTACT: John McNamara Director - Investor Relations StoneMor Partners L.P. (215) 826-2945