Stewart Enterprises reports earnings

Funeral company Stewart Enterprises Inc. reported first-quarter earnings of $15.5 million compared to $8.8 million for the first quarter of 2012.

Earnings at the New Orleans company amounted to 18 cents per share compared to 10 cents a year ago.

“For the first quarter of 2013, we generated the highest quarterly net earnings and earnings per share in more than 10 years,” Thomas M. Kitchen, president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “We are particularly pleased with the balance we achieved between our funeral and cemetery segments.”

He said the funeral business at locations open at least a year were up 8 percent.

Founded in 1910, Stewart Enterprises is the second-largest provider of products and services in the death-care industry in the United States. The company owns and operates 217 funeral homes and 141 cemeteries in the United States and Puerto Rico.