Hillenbrand Sees Higher Profit, Lower Revenues in 4Q

November 30, 2009
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imageThe growing popularity of cremation affected Hillenbrand Inc.?s fourth-quarter and full-year revenues, but the company posted a year-over-year profit.

The funeral services company reported fourth-quarter net income of $22.6 million, or 37 cents per share, compared to $19.2 million, or 31 cents per share in the year-ago quarter. Revenues fell to $153.1 million from $158.8 million. Analysts, on average, had expected earnings per share of 37 cents and revenues of $157 million.

The quarter included $104,000 in legal costs related to antitrust litigation, but no costs relating to the separation of the former Hillenbrand Industries into Hillenbrand Inc. and Hill-Rom (NYSE: HRC), which took place in 2008.

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Lower costs for diesel fuel and other raw materials also affected the profit margin, Hillenbrand said in a news release.

?North American burials continued to decline in the fourth quarter, even as the number of deaths returned to a more normal seasonal level,? said Kenneth Camp, president and CEO, in the release. ?We believe the economic uncertainties have prompted some families to opt for cremation at a rate greater than we?ve seen in the past.?

For fiscal 2009, Hillenbrand posted net income of $102.3 million, or $1.66 per share, versus $93.2 million, or $1.49 per share in fiscal 2008. Revenues declined to $649.1 million from $678.1 million.

Hillenbrand said it expects 2010 revenues in the $630 million to $670 million range, and earnings per share of $1.40 to $1.67. It added that the forecast has a wider range than usual because of the divergent predictions about the severity of H1N1 and seasonal flu epidemics, as well as pneumonia.

Shares of Hillenbrand (NYSE: HI) opened at $19.95 Tuesday.

Batesville, Ind.-based Hillenbrand Inc. (NYSE: HI) manufactures and distributes caskets and funeral service products through its Batesville Casket Co. unit.

Source: Business First

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