Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

Jul 30, 2020 • 09:00 am ET

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Service Corporation International (NYSE:SCI) Q2 2020 Earnings Conference Call - Final Transcript

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Presentation
Operator
Operator

Good morning, and welcome to the SCI's Second Quarter 2020 Earnings Conference Call. [Operator Instructions].

I would now like to turn the conference over to SCI management. Please go ahead.

Executive
Debbie Young

Good morning, everyone. This is Debbie Young, Director of Investor Relations for SCI. We welcome you to our call today to go over our business results for the second quarter.

Before the prepared remarks, I'll remind you that we will be making some forward-looking statements. Any comments made by our management team today that state our plans, beliefs, expectations or projections for the future are forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contemplated in such statements. These risks and uncertainties include, but are not limited to, those factors identified in our earnings release and in our filings with the SEC that are available on our website.

During this call, we will also discuss certain non-GAAP financial measures such as adjusted EPS, adjusted operating cash flow and free cash flow. A reconciliation of these non-GAAP measures to the appropriate GAAP measures is provided on our website under the Investors section and in our earnings press release and 8-K that were issued yesterday.

And now it's my pleasure to introduce our Chairman and CEO, Tom Ryan.

Executive
Thomas L. Ryan

Thanks, Debbie. Hello, everyone, and thank you for joining us on the call this morning. On behalf of SCI and our entire team, I want to start by saying that I hope you and your families are continuing to stay safe and healthy. This morning, I'm going to start by trying to describe the operating environment we experienced, as well as our business performance during the quarter. At the end, I'll attempt to provide guidance as best I can for the rest of the year, considering the continued level of uncertainty around the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, the public orders from governments and the evolving patterns of consumer behavior, a tall order, but here we go.

When we last spoke in late April, while we were seeing a significant increase in funeral case volume, we were also experiencing a significant decline in preneed cemetery sales production of some 40% and a decline in the funeral sales average of about 12%. Both of these key operating drivers were being impacted by government-mandated stay-at-home orders, which fueled consumers' fear of closely interacting with others in gathering and group settings.

We implemented a number of temporary cost-saving initiatives and quickly introduced additional technology to support our operations, sales efforts and administrative functions. Early on, the preponderance of the funeral volume increases were being felt on the East Coast, Michigan, Illinois and Louisiana. These markets, along with California, due to stay at home orders, experienced meaningful declines in funeral sales averages. On the cemetery side, we saw significant declines in a lot of places in preneed cemetery sales and more pronounced in our larger markets on the West Coast.

As we moved into May, we began