Carriage Services, Inc.
CARRIAGE SERVICES INC (Form: 10-K, Received: 03/18/2013 15:46:56)
Table of Contents

UNITED STATES
SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION
Washington, D.C. 20549
____________________________________ 
FORM 10-K
ý
ANNUAL REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934






 
For the fiscal year ended, December 31, 2012
 
or
¨
TRANSITION REPORT PURSUANT TO SECTION 13 OR 15(D) OF THE SECURITIES EXCHANGE ACT OF 1934






 
For the transition period from ______________ to _____________                
Commission file number: 1-11961
________________________________________________ 
CARRIAGE SERVICES, INC.
(Exact name of registrant as specified in its charter)
Delaware
 
76-0423828
(State or other jurisdiction of
incorporation or organization)
 
(I.R.S. Employer
Identification No.)
3040 Post Oak Blvd., Suite 300, Houston, Texas
 
77056
(Address of principal executive offices)
 
(Zip Code)
Registrant’s telephone number, including area code: (713) 332-8400
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(b) of the Act:
(Title of each class)
 
(Name of each exchange on which registered)
Common Stock, $.01 Par Value
 
New York Stock Exchange
Securities registered pursuant to Section 12(g) of the Act:
None
_______________________________________________ 
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is a well-known seasoned issuer, as defined in Rule 405 of the Securities Act of 1933.     Yes   ¨     No   ý
Indicate by check mark if the registrant is not required to file reports pursuant to Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.    Yes   ¨     No   ý
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant (1) has filed all reports required to be filed by Section 13 or 15(d) of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to file such reports), and (2) has been subject to such filing requirements for the past 90 days.    Yes   ý     No   ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant has submitted electronically and posted on its corporate Web site, if any, every Interactive Data File required to be submitted and posted pursuant to Rule 405 of Regulation S-T (§232.405 of this chapter) during the preceding 12 months (or for such shorter period that the registrant was required to submit and post such files).    Yes   ý     No   ¨
Indicate by check mark if disclosure of delinquent filers pursuant to Item 405 of Regulation S-K (§229.405 of this chapter) is not contained herein, and will not be contained, to the best of registrant’s knowledge, in definitive proxy or information statements incorporated by reference in Part III of this Form 10-K or any amendment to this Form 10-K.     ¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a large accelerated filer, an accelerated filer, a non-accelerated filer, or a smaller reporting company. See definitions of “large accelerator filer,” “accelerated filer” and “smaller reporting company” in Rule 12b-2 of the Exchange Act. (Check one):
Large accelerated filer
 
¨
 
Accelerated filer
 
ý
 
 
 
 
Non-Accelerated filer
 
¨   (Do not check if a smaller reporting company)
 
Smaller Reporting Company
 
¨
Indicate by check mark whether the registrant is a shell company as defined in Rule 12b-2 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934.     Yes   ¨     No   ý
The aggregate market value of the voting and non-voting common equity held by non-affiliates of the registrant as of June 30, 2012 was approximately $130.5 million based on the closing price of $8.32 per share on the New York Stock Exchange.
The number of shares of the registrant’s Common Stock, $.01 par value per share, outstanding as of March 13, 2013 was 18,109,986.
DOCUMENTS INCORPORATED BY REFERENCE
______________________________________ 
Portions of the registrant's definitive proxy statement for its 2013 annual meeting of stockholders, which will be filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission within 120 days of December 31, 2012 , are incorporated in Part III of this Annual Report on Form 10-K.

1

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
 
 
 
Page
Item 1.
Item 1A.
Item 1B.
Item 2.
Item 3.
Item 4.
 
Item 5.
Item 6.
Item 7.
Item 7A.
Item 8.
Item 9.
Item 9A.
Item 9B.
 
Item 10.
Item 11.
Item 12.
Item 13.
Item 14.
 
Item 15.
 
 
 
 
 



2

Table of Contents

CAUTIONARY NOTE
Certain statements and information in this Annual Report on Form 10-K (this “Form 10-K”) may constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. The words “believe,” “expect,” “anticipate,” “plan,” “intend,” “foresee,” “should,” “would,” “could” or other similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements, which are generally not historical in nature. These forward-looking statements are based on our current expectations and beliefs concerning future developments and their potential effect on us. While management believes that these forward-looking statements are reasonable as and when made, there can be no assurance that future developments affecting us will be those that we anticipate. All comments concerning our expectations for future revenues and operating results are based on our forecasts for our existing operations and do not include the potential impact of any future acquisitions. Our forward-looking statements involve significant risks and uncertainties (some of which are beyond our control) and assumptions that could cause actual results to differ materially from our historical experience and our present expectations or projections. Known material factors that could cause our actual results to differ from those in the forward-looking statements are those described in Part I, “Item 1A. Risk Factors.”
Investors are cautioned not to place undue reliance on forward-looking statements, which speak only as of the date hereof. We undertake no obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements after the date they are made, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise.
PART I
ITEM 1.
BUSINESS.
GENERAL
Carriage Services, Inc. (“Carriage,” the “Company,” “we,” “us,” or “our”) was incorporated in the State of Delaware in December of 1993 and is a leading provider of death care services and merchandise in the United States. We operate in two business segments: funeral home operations, which currently account for approximately 75% of our total revenue, and cemetery operations, which currently account for approximately 25% of our total revenue. As of December 31, 2012 , we operated 167 funeral homes in 26 states and 33 cemeteries in 12 states. We mainly serve suburban and rural markets, where we primarily compete with smaller, independent operators and believe we are a market leader (first or second) in most of our markets. We provide funeral and cemetery services and products on both an “at-need” (time of death) and “preneed” (planned prior to death) basis.
Our operations are reported in two business segments:
Funeral Home Operations. Funeral homes are principally service businesses that provide funeral services (traditional burial and cremation) and sell related merchandise, such as caskets and urns. Given the high fixed cost structure associated with funeral home operations, we believe the following key factors affect our profitability:
demographic trends in terms of population growth and average age, which impact death rates and number of deaths;
our ability to establish and maintain market share positions supported by strong local heritage and relationships;
our ability to effectively respond to increasing cremation trends by packaging complimentary services and merchandise;
our ability to control salary, merchandise and other controllable costs; and
our ability to exercise pricing leverage related to our at-need business to increase average revenues per contract.
Cemetery Operations. Cemeteries are primarily a sales business providing interment rights (grave sites and mausoleums) and related merchandise, such as markers and memorials. Our cemetery operating results are impacted by the size and success of our sales organization, as approximately 47% of our cemetery revenues during the year ended December 31, 2012 were generated from preneed sales of interment rights and related merchandise and services. We believe that changes in the economy and consumer confidence may impact the amount of preneed cemetery revenues. Cemetery revenues generated from at-need service and merchandise sales generally are subject to many of the same key profitability factors as our funeral home business. Approximately 19% of our cemetery revenues during the year ended December 31, 2012 were attributable to investment earnings on trust funds and finance charges on installment contracts. Changes in the capital markets and interest rates affect this component of our cemetery revenues, along with changes that we make in the investment securities within the trust funds.

1

Table of Contents

RECENT DEVELOPMENTS
Credit Facility . On August 30, 2012, we replaced our previous credit facility with a new $235 million secured bank credit facility (the “Credit Facility”), comprised of a $105 million revolving credit facility and a $130 million term loan. The new Credit Facility also contains an accordion provision to borrow up to an additional $40 million in our revolving credit facility.  The Credit Facility allowed us to redeem our existing 7 7 / 8 % senior notes due in 2015 (the "Senior Notes"), paid other transaction related fees and expenses and provided for future corporate needs, including future acquisitions at substantially reduced interest costs.  The call redemption was completed on September 28, 2012 and in connection with this redemption, we incurred a premium payment to the former debtholders in the amount of $1.7 million and recorded a pre-tax charge in the amount of $1.3 million to write off the related unamortized loan costs. The Credit Facility is set to mature on September 30, 2017 and is collateralized by all personal property and funeral home real property in certain states. We have the option to pay interest under the Credit Facility at either the prime rate or LIBOR rate plus a margin. As of December 31, 2012 , $44.7 million was drawn under the revolving credit facility and $127.5 million drawn under the term loan.  The weighted average interest rate on the Credit Facility at December 31, 2012 was 3.73%.
Acquisitions. We completed seven acquisitions during 2012 and are positioned to acquire more funeral and cemetery businesses in the future. The aggregate consideration paid for these businesses was $42.7 million and the assumption of $1.0 million of liabilities. For all acquisitions, we acquired substantially all the assets and assumed certain operating liabilities including obligations associated with existing preneed contracts.
Operations . We started a wholly-owned investment registered advisory firm (CSV RIA) to provide investment management and advisory services. At December 31, 2012, CSV RIA provided these services to one institution, which has custody of 68% of our trust assets, for a fee based on the market value of trust assets.
Incentive Compensation. During 2012, we granted 1,705,000 performance awards with an aggregate fair value of approximately $1.5 million that allows grantees the right to purchase our stock at a weighted average price of $9.07 per share if our common stock achieves a value of $21.50 on any three trading days within a 30 day period prior to September of 2017. We began a five year incentive plan, called “Good to Great,” which reward business managers, known as “Managing Partners,” with a bonus at the end of five years, equal to a ratio of 4 to 6 times their average annual bonus, if they are able to achieve an annual compound growth rate of 2% over a five year period. We believe both of these corporate incentive programs align our executives, officers and Managing Partners interests with our shareholders.
Capital. Our Board of Directors (“our Board”) approved the four quarterly dividends of $0.025 per share. In May 2012, our Board approved an increase to the stock repurchase program to purchase an additional $3 million of our common stock. During 2012, 686,208 shares of common stock were repurchased at an aggregate cost of $4.5 million . A total of 812,800 shares have been purchased under this plan at a total cost of $5.3 million .
DEATH CARE INDUSTRY
Death care companies provide products and services to families in three principal areas: (i) ceremony and tribute, generally in the form of a funeral or memorial service; (ii) disposition of remains, either through burial or cremation; and (iii) memorialization, generally through monuments, markers or inscriptions. The death care industry in the United States is characterized by the following fundamental attributes (the statistics included in this Form 10-K are based on public reports from the Cremation Association of North America and the U.S. Census Bureau).
Deaths and Death Rates
Death rates and the number of deaths in the United States have been relatively stable on a long-term historical basis. The number of deaths in the United States increased at an annual rate of approximately 1% for the period from 1980 to 2000. Beginning in 2001, the number of deaths has trended lower very slightly as the general population is living longer and because of low birth rates in the period from the early 1930’s to the mid 1940’s during the depression and World War II. The number of deaths remained flat in 2011 compared to 2010. The recent trend is projected to reverse in coming years due to the aging of the “baby boomer” generation. Based on data from the National Population Projections released in 2008 by the U.S. Census Bureau, the percentage of people age 65 and over is expected to increase from 12.8% in 2011 to 20.3% in 2030.

2

Table of Contents

Cremation
In recent years, there has been a steady, gradual increase in the number of families in the United States that have chosen cremation as an alternative to traditional methods of burial. According to Cremation Association of North America, cremations represented approximately 42.3% of the U.S. burial market in 2011 and are predicted to increase to 49.7% by 2016. The annual growth rate of cremation over the last five years was 1.3% each year. Cremation rates can vary significantly based upon geographic, religious and cultural traditions. Direct cremation has been offered as a less costly alternative to a traditional funeral service. However, cremation is being increasingly accepted as part of a package of funeral services that includes memorials, merchandise and options for the interment of cremated remains. Cremations result in lower absolute revenue dollars, but higher gross margins. Cemeteries are more affected by the increasing cremation trend than funeral homes.
Highly Fragmented Ownership
There are approximately 20,000 funeral homes and 10,500 cemeteries in the United States and the domestic death care industry generates approximately $15 billion of revenue annually. The largest public operators, in terms of revenue, of both funeral homes and cemeteries in the United States are Service Corporation International (“SCI”), Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (“Stewart”), StoneMor Partners L.P. (“StoneMor”) and Carriage. We believe these four companies collectively represent approximately 20% of death care revenues in the United States. Independent businesses along with a few privately owned consolidators represent the remaining amount of industry revenue, accounting for an estimated 80% share. All of our acquisitions in both 2011 and 2012 were independent businesses.
Heritage and Tradition
Death care businesses have traditionally been family-owned businesses that have built a local heritage and tradition through successive generations, providing a foundation for ongoing business opportunities from established client family relationships and related referrals. Given the sensitive nature of our business, we believe that relationships fostered at the local level build trust in the community and are a key driver of market share. While new entrants may enter any given market, the time and resources required to develop local heritage and tradition serve as important barriers to entry.
BUSINESS STRATEGY
Our business strategy is based on strong, local leadership and entrepreneurial principles that we believe drive market share, revenue growth, and profitability in our local markets. The business strategy is executed through our Standards Operating Model, a decentralized and entrepreneurial operating model for our funeral home and our cemetery businesses. To date, our Standards Operating Model has driven significant changes in our organization, leadership and operating practices. We use the Standards Operating Model to measure the sustainable revenue growth and earning power of our portfolio of death care businesses. The Standards Operating Model emphasizes growing market share and improving long-term profitability by employing leadership and entrepreneurial principles that fit the nature of our local, personal service, high value business. Leadership qualities are evaluated using the 4E leadership characteristics – Energy, Energize Others, Edge and Execution. This model requires our local and corporate leaders to focus on the drivers of success that create long-term profitability and value for our stockholders. Our Standards Operating Model emphasizes:
decentralized management of our local businesses;
financial and operational standards based upon key drivers of success of our best businesses;
variable compensation that rewards our managers as if they were owners;
finding, developing and retaining the best people in our industry; and
information technology designed to support local businesses and corporate management decisions, measure performance of our businesses against our financial and operational standards, and ensure adherence to established internal control procedures.
Our business objectives include:
growing market share, creating new heritage, producing consistent, modest revenue growth and sustaining increased earnings and cash flow;
continuing to improve our operating and financial performance by executing our Standards Operating Model;
upgrading the leadership in our businesses, as necessary; and searching for well-qualified personnel that we feel will lead and excel within our Standards Operating Model; and

3

Table of Contents

executing our Strategic Acquisition Model, a disciplined program that will guide our acquisition strategies, to increase the sustainable earning power profile of our portfolio.
Key elements of our overall business strategy include the following:
Implement Operating Initiatives. Our business strategy executed through our Standards Operating Model, is a decentralized and entrepreneurial operating model for our funeral homes and our cemetery businesses. This model is based on operating standards designed to grow market share and increase profitability, developed from our best operations, along with an incentive compensation plan to reward Managing Partners and their staff for successfully meeting or exceeding the standards. Our Managing Partners participate in a variable bonus plan in which they earn a percentage of their business' earnings based upon the actual standards achieved. The operating model and standards, which we refer to as “Being the Best,” focus on what we believe are the key drivers of a successful operation, organized around three primary areas - market share, people and operating financial metrics. The model and standards are the measures by which we judge the success of each business. In 2012, We began a five year incentive plan, called “Good to Great,” which reward business managers, known as “Managing Partners,” with a bonus at the end of five years, equal to a ratio of 4 to 6 times their average annual bonus, if they are able to achieve an annual compound growth rate of 2% over a five year period. To date, the Standards Operating Model has driven significant changes in our organization, leadership and operating practices. Most importantly, the Standards Operating Model has allowed us to measure the sustainable revenue growth and earning power of our portfolio businesses. The Standards Operating Model led to the development of our Strategic Acquisition Model during 2006, which guides our acquisition and disposition strategies. Both models, when executed effectively, should drive long term, sustainable increases in market share, revenue, earnings and free cash flow. The standards are not designed to produce maximum short term earnings because we do not believe such performance is sustainable without ultimately stressing the business, which often leads to declining market share, revenues and earnings.
Enhancement of Funeral Services. A significant trend in the death care industry is an increasing preference of our client families for cremation. The percentage of funeral services performed by our funeral homes for which cremation was chosen as the manner in which to dispose of remains was 42.9% for the year ended December 31, 2010 , 45.0% for the year ended December 31, 2011 and 46.0% for the year ended December 31, 2012 . For the year ended December 31, 2012 , 64.8% of our total cremation services were direct cremations (where no memorial service or visitation is involved, although merchandise may be sold) and 35.2% included services, as compared to 62.6% and 37.4%, respectively, for the year ended December 31, 2011. One of our training initiatives throughout the Company focuses on increasing the percentage of our cremation customers that choose services. All of our funeral homes offer cremation products and services. While the average revenue for a cremation service is generally lower than that of an average traditional, full-service funeral, we have found that these revenues can be substantially enhanced by our emphasis on offering services and merchandise.
Preneed Funeral Sales Program. We operate under a local, decentralized preneed sales strategy whereby each business location customizes its preneed program to its local needs. The performance of preneed funeral contracts is usually secured by placing the funds collected in trust for the benefit of the customer or by the purchase of a life insurance policy, the proceeds of which will pay for such services at the time of need. Insurance-funded contracts allow us to earn commission income to improve our near-term cash flow and offset a significant amount of the up-front costs associated with preneed sales. Trust funded contracts typically provide cash that is invested in various securities with the expectation that returns will exceed the growth factor in the insurance contracts. The cash flow and earnings from insurance contracts are more stable, but are generally lower than traditional trust fund investments. In markets that depend on preneed sales for market share, we supplement the arrangements written by funeral directors with sales sourced by sales counselors and third party sellers.
Preneed Cemetery Sales Program. A significant portion of our historical cemetery revenues are represented by sales of cemetery property sold by our sales professionals on a preneed basis and finance charges earned on preneed installment contracts. General consumer confidence and discretionary income have a significant impact on our preneed sales success rate. In 2012 , preneed cemetery sales increased 5.4% compared to 2011.
Renewed Corporate Development Efforts. We believe that our improved capital structure positions us to pursue a strategy of disciplined growth, affording us the flexibility to redeploy our cash and cash flow toward selective acquisitions that meet our criteria. We expect to continue to improve our earning power as we invest in businesses that will contribute incremental revenues, earnings and cash flow. Our Strategic Acquisition Model is a primary driver of our acquisition strategy. We use strategic ranking criteria to assess acquisition candidates in order to optimize the sustainable earning power of our death care portfolio.
Ideal acquisition candidates include businesses that are demonstrated market leaders, are larger businesses located in growing markets with high barriers to entry and have field-level operating margins consistent with our best performing businesses. We believe there are large enough markets for us to increase our presence in existing markets by acquisition or to enter a new market with a substantial acquisition while leveraging our strong local franchise brands and entrepreneurial

4

Table of Contents

leadership. We also use our Standards Operating Model to evaluate acquisition candidates to ensure they can be readily integrated into our portfolio.
OUR STRENGTHS
Market Leader in our Suburban and Rural Markets. Our operations are located in principally suburban and rural markets, where we primarily compete with smaller, independent operators. Most of our suburban markets have populations of 100,000 or more. In over 70% of our funeral home markets, we believe that we are either first or second in local market share.
Partnership Culture. Our funeral homes and cemeteries are managed by Managing Partners, individuals with extensive death care experience, often within their local markets. Our Managing Partners have responsibility for day-to-day operations, but are required to follow operating and financial standards that are custom designed for each of four groupings using size of business and cremation rate as specific grouping criteria. This strategy allows each local business to maintain its unique identity within its local market and to capitalize on its reputation and heritage while our senior management maintains supervisory controls and provides support services from our corporate headquarters. We believe our culture is very attractive to owners of premier independent businesses that fit our profile of suitable acquisition candidates.
Flexible Capital Structure. We have no near-term debt maturity issues. We believe that our capital structure provides us with financial flexibility by allowing us to invest our cash flow in growth initiatives, such as business acquisitions and cemetery inventory projects. Currently, we have four primary components in our capital structure:
A $130 million term loan, which has a 2017 maturity, of which $127.5 million was outstanding at December 31, 2012;
a $105 million revolving credit facility, which has a 2017 maturity, of which $44.7 million was outstanding at December 31, 2012 ;
the $89.8 million convertible junior subordinated 7% debenture with a 2029 maturity; and
our common stock.
For additional information, please see Part II, Item 7, Liquidity and Capital Resources.
Stable Cash Flow. We have demonstrated the ability to generate strong and stable cash flow. Free cash flow from continuing operations for 2012 (cash flow from operations less maintenance capital expenditures of $5.0 million) totaled $20.6 million, for which the primary use was acquisitions. Going forward, we intend to use our cash flow to acquire funeral home and cemetery businesses and to fund internal growth projects, such as cemetery inventory development. Our growth strategy is the primary way we expect to increase stockholder value. While we reassess our capital allocation strategy annually, we currently believe that our financial goals will best be achieved by continuing to improve the operating and financial performance of our existing portfolio of businesses while selectively investing our net cash flow in growth opportunities that generate a return on invested capital in excess of our weighted average cost of capital.
Strong Field-Level Gross Profit Margins. We believe that our field-level gross profit margins are among the highest reported by the public companies in the death care industry and that this performance is a testament to the success of our business strategies. As a percentage of revenues, the total field-level gross profit margin was 30.3% for the year 2012 . These strong margins and the ability to control costs are important advantages in a business such as ours that is characterized by a high fixed-cost structure. We will continue to seek ways to improve our financial performance, and we believe that our Standards Operating Model will continue to yield long-term improvement in our financial results.
Effective Management of Funeral Preneed Sales. We believe our local, decentralized strategy allows us to adapt our preneed sales selectively to best address the competitive situation in our particular markets. In highly competitive markets, we execute a more aggressive preneed sales program. In less competitive markets where we have a strong market position, we deploy a more passive preneed sales program. In certain of our markets, we do not deploy a formal preneed program. This approach allows us to target the investment in preneed sales to markets where we have the opportunity to reinforce our market share. Since approximately 80% of our funeral revenues are generated from at-need sales, we retain significant pricing leverage in our funeral business without having to rely on preneed sales.
Integrated Information Systems. We have implemented information systems to support local business decisions and to monitor performance of our businesses compared to financial and performance standards. All of our funeral homes and cemeteries are connected to our corporate headquarters, which allows us to monitor and assess critical operating and financial data and analyze the performance of individual locations on a timely basis. Furthermore, our information system infrastructure provides senior management with a critical tool for monitoring and adhering to our established internal controls, which is critical given our decentralized model and the sensitive nature of our business operations.

5

Table of Contents

Proven Management Team. Our management team, headed by our founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Melvin C. Payne, and our Vice Chairman of our Board and Executive Vice President, L. William Heiligbrodt, is characterized by a dynamic culture that focuses on addressing changing market conditions and emerging trends in the funeral services industry. We believe our culture emphasizing the 4E’s leadership characteristics is critical and will provide an important advantage as the death care industry evolves. We are committed to continue operating an efficient corporate organization and strengthening our corporate and local business leadership. We believe that our Standards Operating Model will ensure this commitment at all levels of the organization. Our businesses are organized into three Regions, each headed by a Regional Partner. This promotes more cooperation and synergy between our funeral and cemetery operations and supports the goal of market-share and volume growth in our most significant markets.
OPERATIONS
We conduct our funeral and cemetery operations only in the United States. Our operations are reported in two segments: funeral operations and cemetery operations. Information for each of our segments is presented below and in our financial statements set forth herein.
Funeral Home Operations
At December 31, 2012 , we operated 167 funeral homes in 26 states. Funeral home revenues currently account for approximately 75% of our total revenues. The funeral home operations are managed by a team of experienced death care industry professionals and selected region-level individuals with substantial management experience in our industry. See Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 21 for segment data related to funeral home operations.
Our funeral homes offer a complete range of services to meet a family’s death care needs, including consultation, the removal and preparation of remains, the sale of caskets and related funeral merchandise, the use of funeral home facilities for visitation and services, and transportation services. Most of our funeral homes have a non-denominational chapel on the premises, which permits family visitation and services to take place at one location and thereby reduces transportation costs and inconvenience to the family.
Funeral homes are principally service businesses that provide burial and cremation services and sell related merchandise, such as caskets and urns. The sources and availability of caskets and urns are from a small number of national providers that have distribution centers near our businesses. We typically order and receive the merchandise within twenty four hours. Given the high fixed cost structure associated with funeral home operations, we believe the following are key factors affecting our profitability:
demographic trends in terms of population growth and average age, which impact death rates and number of deaths;
establishing and maintaining leading market share positions supported by strong local heritage and relationships;
effectively responding to increasing cremation trends by packaging complementary services and merchandise;
controlling salary and merchandise costs; and
increasing average revenues per contract.
Cemetery Operations
As of December 31, 2012 , we operated 33 cemeteries in 12 states. The cemetery operations are managed by a team of experienced death care industry and sales professionals. Cemetery revenues currently account for approximately 25% of our total revenues. See Note 21 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2012 for segment data related to cemetery operations.
Our cemetery products and services include interment services, the rights to interment in cemetery sites (primarily grave sites, mausoleum crypts and niches) and related cemetery merchandise, such as memorials and vaults. Cemetery operations generate revenues through sales of interment rights and memorials, installation fees, fees for interment and cremation services, finance charges from installment sales contracts and investment income from preneed cemetery merchandise trusts and perpetual care trusts. The sources and availability of memorials and vaults are typically local manufacturers to our businesses.
Our cemetery operating results are impacted by the size and success of our sales organization, evidenced by the statistic that approximately 36% of our cemetery revenues was generated from preneed sales of interment rights during the year ended December 31, 2012 . An additional 11% of our 2012 cemetery revenues was generated from deliveries of merchandise and

6

Table of Contents

services previously sold on preneed contracts. We believe that changes in the economy and consumer confidence impacts the success rate of preneed sales and is currently having an impact on our preneed sales success rate and the industry as a whole. Coming into a more stable economy, we have focused more on quality sales counselors rather than quantity. Cemetery revenues generated from at-need services and merchandise sales generally are subject to many of the same key profitability factors as in our funeral home business. Approximately 19% of our cemetery revenue was attributable to investment earnings on trust funds and finance charges on installment contracts during the year ended December 31, 2012 . Changes in the capital markets and interest rates affect this component of our cemetery revenues.
Preneed Programs
As discussed in the preceding sections, we market funeral and cemetery services and products on a preneed basis. Preneed funeral or cemetery contracts enable families to establish, in advance, the type of service to be performed, the products to be used and the cost of such products and services. Preneed contracts permit families to eliminate issues of making death care plans at the time of need and allow input from other family members before the death occurs. We guarantee the price and performance of the preneed contracts to the customer.
Preneed funeral contracts are usually paid on an installment basis. The performance of preneed funeral contracts is usually secured by placing the funds collected in trust for the benefit of the customer or by the purchase of a life insurance policy, the proceeds of which will pay for such services at the time of need. Insurance policies, intended to fund preneed funeral contracts, cover the original contract price and generally include an element of growth (earnings) designed to offset future inflationary cost increases. Revenue from preneed funeral contracts, along with accumulated earnings, is not recognized until the time the funeral service is performed. The accumulated earnings from the trust investments and insurance policies are intended to offset the inflation in funeral prices. Additionally, we generally earn a commission from the insurance company from the sale of insurance-funded policies reflected as Preneed Insurance Commission . The commission income is recognized as revenue when the period of refund expires (generally one year), which helps us defray the costs we incur to originate the preneed contract (primarily commissions we pay to our sales counselors).
In addition to preneed funeral contracts, we also offer “preplanned” funeral arrangements whereby a client determines in advance substantially all of the details of a funeral service without any financial commitment or other obligation on the part of the client until the actual time of need. Preplanned funeral arrangements permit a family to avoid issues of making death care plans at the time of need and enable a funeral home to establish relationships with a client that may eventually lead to an at-need sale.
Preneed sales of cemetery interment rights are usually financed through interest-bearing installment sales contracts, generally with terms of up to five years with such earnings reflected as Preneed Cemetery Finance Charges . In substantially all cases, we receive an initial down payment at the time the contract is signed. Occasionally, we have offered zero percent interest financing to promote sales for limited-time offers. Preneed sales of cemetery interment rights are recorded as revenue when 10% of the contract amount related to the interment right has been collected. Merchandise and services may similarly be sold on an installment basis, but revenue is recorded when delivery has occurred. Allowances for bad debts and customer cancellations are recorded at the date that the contract is executed and periodically evaluated thereafter based upon historical experience.
We sold 7,197 and 6,979 preneed funeral contracts during the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012 , respectively. At December 31, 2012, we had a backlog of 81,585 preneed funeral contracts to be delivered in the future. Approximately 20% of the funeral revenues recognized during the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2012 , originated through preneed contracts. Cemetery revenues that originated from preneed contracts represented approximately 50% and 47% of our net cemetery revenues for 2011 and 2012 .
As of December 31, 2012 , we employed a staff of 180 advance-planning and family service representatives for the sale of preneed products and services.
TRUST FUNDS AND INSURANCE CONTRACTS
We have established a variety of trusts in connection with funeral home and cemetery operations as required under applicable state law. Such trusts include (i) preneed funeral trusts; (ii) preneed cemetery merchandise and service trusts; and (iii) cemetery perpetual care trusts. These trusts are typically administered by independent financial institutions selected by the Company. Investment management and advisory services are provided either by our wholly-owned investment registered advisory firm, CSV RIA, or by independent financial advisors. At December 31, 2012, CSV RIA provided these services to one institution, which has custody of 68% of our trust assets, for a fee based on the market value of trust assets.

7

Table of Contents

Preneed funeral sales generally require deposits to a trust or purchase of a third-party insurance product. Trust fund income earned and the receipt and recognition of any insurance benefits are deferred until the service is performed. Trust fund holdings and deferred revenue are reflected currently on our balance sheet, while the insurance contracts are not on our balance sheet. In most states, we are not permitted to withdraw principal or investment income from such trusts until the funeral service is performed. Some states, however, allow for the retention of a percentage (generally 10%) of the receipts to offset any administrative and selling expenses. The aggregate balance of our preneed funeral contracts held in trust, insurance contracts and receivables from preneed trusts was approximately $342.4 million as of December 31, 2012 .
We are generally required under applicable state laws to deposit a specified amount (which varies from state to state, generally 50% to 100% of selling price) into a merchandise and service trust fund for preneed cemetery merchandise and services sales. The related trust fund income earned is recognized when the related merchandise and services are delivered. We are generally permitted to withdraw the trust principal and accrued income when the merchandise is actually purchased and delivered, when the service is provided or when the contract is canceled. However, certain states allow the withdrawal of income prior to delivery when the regulations identify excess earnings in the trusts. We were able to withdraw $10.1 million in trust income prior to delivery in those states in 2011 and $1.4 million in 2012 . Cemetery merchandise and service trust fund balances, in the market value aggregate, and receivables from preneed cemetery trusts totaled approximately $74.7 million as of December 31, 2012 .
In most states, regulations require a portion (generally 10%) of the sale amount of cemetery property and memorials to be placed in a perpetual care trust. The income from these perpetual care trusts provides funds necessary to maintain cemetery property and memorials in perpetuity. This trust fund income is recognized, as earned, in cemetery revenues. While we are entitled to withdraw the income from perpetual care trusts to provide for maintenance of cemetery property and memorials, we are restricted from withdrawing any of the principal balances of the trust fund. Perpetual care trust balances totaled approximately $46.5 million at December 31, 2012 .
For additional information with respect to our trusts, see Notes 6, 8, and 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for the year ended December 31, 2012 .
SEASONALITY
Our business can be affected by seasonal fluctuations in the death rate. Generally, the number of deaths is higher during the winter months because the incidences of death from influenza and pneumonia are higher during this period than other periods of the year.
COMPETITION
The operating environment in the death care industry has been highly competitive. Publicly traded companies operating in the United States include SCI, Stewart, StoneMor and Carriage. In addition, a number of smaller private consolidators have been active in acquiring and operating funeral homes and cemeteries.
Our funeral home and cemetery operations face competition in the markets that they serve. Our primary competition in most of our markets is from local independent operators. We have observed new start-up competition in certain areas of the country, which in any one market may have impacted our profitability because of the high fixed cost nature of funeral homes. Market share for funeral homes and cemeteries is largely a function of reputation and heritage, although competitive pricing, professional service and attractive, well-maintained and conveniently located facilities are also important. Because of the importance of reputation and heritage, market share increases are usually gained over a long period of time. The sale of preneed funeral services and cemetery property has increasingly been used by many companies as a marketing tool to build market share.
There has been increasing competition from providers specializing in specific services, such as cremations, who offer minimal service and low-end pricing. We also face competition from companies that market products and related merchandise over the Internet and non-traditional casket stores in certain markets. These competitors have been successful in capturing a portion of the low-end market and product sales.

8

Table of Contents

REGULATION
General. Our operations are subject to regulations, supervision and licensing under numerous federal, state and local laws, ordinances and regulations, including extensive regulations concerning trust funds, preneed sales of funeral and cemetery products and services and various other aspects of our business. We believe that we comply in all material respects with the provisions of these laws, ordinances and regulations.
Federal Trade Commission. Our funeral home operations are comprehensively regulated by the Federal Trade Commission (“FTC”) under Section 5 of the Federal Trade Commission Act and a trade regulation rule for the funeral industry promulgated thereunder referred to as the “Funeral Rule.” The Funeral Rule defines certain acts or practices as unfair or deceptive and contains certain requirements to prevent these acts or practices. The preventive measures require a funeral provider to give consumers accurate, itemized price information and various other disclosures about funeral goods and services and prohibit a funeral provider from: (i) misrepresenting legal, crematory and cemetery requirements; (ii) embalming for a fee without permission; (iii) requiring the purchase of a casket for direct cremation; and (iv) requiring consumers to buy certain funeral goods or services as condition for furnishing other funeral goods or services.
Environmental. Our operations are also subject to stringent federal, regional, state and local laws and regulations relating to environmental protection, including legal requirements governing air emissions, waste management and disposal and wastewater discharges. For instance, the federal Clean Air Act and analogous state laws, which restrict the emission of pollutants from many sources, including crematories, may require us to apply for and obtain air emissions permits, install costly emissions control equipment, and conduct monitoring and reporting tasks. Also, in the course of our operations, we store and use chemicals and other regulated substances as well as generate wastes that may subject us to strict liability under the federal Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and comparable state laws, which govern the treatment, storage, and disposal of nonhazardous and hazardous wastes, and the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act, a remedial statute that imposes cleanup obligations on generators, transporters, and arrangers of hazardous substances at sites where such substances have been released into the environment. In addition, the Federal Water Pollution Control Act, also known as the federal Clean Water Act, and analogous state laws regulate discharges of pollutants to state and federal waters. Underground and aboveground storage tanks that store chemicals and fuels for vehicle maintenance or general operations are located at certain of our facilities and any spills or releases from those facilities may cause us to incur remedial liabilities under the Clean Water Act or analogous state laws. Failure to comply with environmental laws and regulations could result in the assessment of substantial administrative, civil, and criminal penalties, the imposition of investigatory and remedial obligations, and the issuance of injunctions restricting or prohibiting our activities. Moreover, accidental releases or spills may occur in the course of our operations, and we cannot assure you that we will not incur significant costs and liabilities as a result of such releases or spills, including any third party claims for damages to property, natural resources or persons. Also, it is possible that implementation of stricter environmental laws and regulations or more stringent enforcement of existing environmental requirements could result in additional, currently unidentifiable costs or liabilities to us, such as requirements to purchase pollution control equipment or implement operational changes or improvements. While we believe we are in substantial compliance with existing environmental laws and regulations, we cannot assure you that we will not incur substantial costs in the future.
Worker Health and Safety . We are subject to the requirements of the federal Occupational Safety and Health Act, as amended (“OSHA”), and comparable state statutes whose purpose is to protect the health and safety of workers. In addition, the OSHA hazard communication standard, the Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act and implementing regulations and similar state statutes and regulations require that we organize and/or disclose information about hazardous materials used or produced in our operations and that this information be provided to employees, state and local governmental authorities and citizens. We believe that we are in substantial compliance with all applicable laws and regulations relating to worker health and safety.
EMPLOYEES
As of December 31, 2012 , we and our subsidiaries employed 2,080 employees, of whom 963 were full-time and 1,117 part-time. All of our funeral directors and embalmers possess licenses required by applicable regulatory agencies. We believe that we maintain a good relationship with our employees. None of our employees are represented by unions.
AVAILABLE INFORMATION
We file annual, quarterly and other reports, and any amendments to those reports, and information with the United States Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”). You may read and copy any materials we file with the SEC at the SEC’s Public Reference Room at 100 F Street, NE, Washington, DC 20549. You may obtain additional information about the Public Reference Room by calling the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330. In addition, the SEC maintains an internet site http://www.sec.gov

9

Table of Contents

that contains reports, proxy and information statements, and other information regarding issuers that file electronically with the SEC, including us.
Our website address is www.carriageservices.com . Available on this website under “Investor Relations-Investor Relations Menu – SEC Filings,” free of charge, are Carriage’s annual reports on Form 10-K, quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, current reports on Form 8-K, insider reports on Forms 3, 4 and 5 filed on behalf of directors and officers and amendments to those reports as soon as reasonably practicable after such materials are electronically filed with or furnished to the SEC.
Also posted on our website, and available in print upon request, are charters for our Audit Committee, Compensation Committee, Corporate Governance Committee, Executive Committee and Investment Committee. Copies of the Code of Business Conduct and Ethics and the Corporate Governance Guidelines are also posted on our website under the “Corporate Governance” section. Within the time period required by the SEC and the New York Stock Exchange, we will post on our website any modifications to the charters and any waivers applicable to senior officers as defined in the applicable charters, as required by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.
ITEM 1A.
RISK FACTORS.
RISKS RELATED TO OUR BUSINESS
Our funeral and cemetery trust funds own investments in equity securities, fixed income securities, and mutual funds, which are affected by market conditions that are beyond our control.
In connection with our backlog of preneed funeral and preneed cemetery merchandise and service contracts, funeral and cemetery trust funds own investments in equity securities, fixed income securities and mutual funds. Our returns on these investments are affected by financial market conditions that are beyond our control.
The following table summarizes our investment returns (realized and unrealized), excluding certain fees, on our trust funds for the years ended December 31:
 
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
Preneed funeral trust funds
16.0
%
 
(2.0
)%
 
14.3
%
Preneed cemetery trust funds
20.3
%
 
(2.7
)%
 
19.3
%
Perpetual care trust funds
20.6
%
 
(3.3
)%
 
20.1
%
Generally, earnings or gains and losses on our preneed funeral and cemetery trust investments are recognized, and we withdraw cash, when the underlying service is performed, merchandise is delivered, or upon contract cancellation. Our cemetery perpetual care trusts recognize earnings, and in certain states, capital gains and losses, and we withdraw cash when we incur qualifying cemetery maintenance costs. If the investments in our trust funds experience significant declines in 2013 or subsequent years, there could be insufficient funds in the trusts to cover the costs of delivering services and merchandise or maintaining cemeteries in the future. We may be required to cover any such shortfall with cash flows from operations, which could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows. For more information related to our trust investments, see Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Notes 6 and 10.
If the fair market value of these trusts, plus any other amount due to us upon delivery of the associated contracts, were to decline below the estimated costs to deliver the underlying products and services, we would record a charge to earnings to record a liability for the expected losses on the delivery of the associated contracts. As of December 31, 2012 , no such charge was required. For additional information, see Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Critical Accounting Policies and Estimates.
Marketing and sales activities by existing and new competitors could cause us to lose market share and lead to lower revenues and margins.
We face competition in all of our markets. Most of our competitors are independently owned, and some are relatively recent market entrants. Certain of the recent entrants are individuals who were formerly employed by us or by our competitors and have relationships and name recognition within our markets. As a group, independent competitors tend to be aggressive in distinguishing themselves by their independent ownership, and they promote their independence through television, radio and print advertising, direct mailings and personal contact. Increasing pressures from new market entrants and continued advertising and marketing by competitors in local markets could cause us to lose market share and revenues. In addition, competitors may change the types or mix of products or services offered. These changes may attract customers, causing us to

10

Table of Contents

lose market share and revenue as well as to incur costs in response to competition to vary the types or mix of products or services offered by us. Also, increased use of the Internet by customers to research and/or purchase products and services could cause us to lose potential revenue.
Our ability to generate preneed sales depends on a number of factors, including sales incentives and local and general economic conditions.
Declines in preneed sales would reduce our backlog and revenue and could reduce our future market share. On the other hand, a significant increase in preneed sales can have a negative impact on cash flow as a result of commissions and other costs incurred initially without corresponding revenues.
As we have localized our preneed sales strategies, we are continuing to refine the mix of service and product offerings in both our funeral and cemetery segments, including changes in our sales commission and incentive structure. These changes could cause us to experience declines in preneed sales in the short-run. In addition, economic conditions at the local or national level could cause declines in preneed sales either as a result of less discretionary income or lower consumer confidence. Declines in preneed cemetery property sales reduces current revenue, and declines in other preneed sales would reduce our backlog and future revenue and could reduce future market share.
Increased preneed sales could have a negative impact on our cash flows .
Preneed sales of funeral and cemetery products and services generally have an initial negative impact on our cash flows, as we are required to deposit a portion of the sales proceeds into trusts or escrow accounts and often incur other expenses at the time of sale. Furthermore, many preneed purchases are paid for in installments over a period of several years, further reducing our cash flows at the time of sale.  Because preneed sales generally provide positive cash flows over the long term, we emphasize the sale of such contracts.  If our efforts to increase such sales are successful, however, our current cash flows could be adversely affected.
Price competition could also reduce our market share or cause us to reduce prices to retain or recapture market share, either of which could reduce revenues and margins.
We have historically experienced price competition primarily from independent funeral home and cemetery operators, and from monument dealers, casket retailers, low-cost funeral providers and other non-traditional providers of services or products. New market entrants tend to attempt to build market share by offering lower cost alternatives. In the past, this price competition has resulted in our losing market share in some markets. In other markets, we have had to reduce prices or offer discounts thereby reducing profit margins in order to retain or recapture market share. Increased price competition in the future could further reduce revenues, profits and our preneed backlog.
We may be required to replenish our funeral and cemetery trust funds in order to meet minimum funding requirements, which would have a negative effect on our earnings and cash flow.
In certain states, we have withdrawn allowable distributable earnings including gains prior to the maturity or cancellation of the related contract. Additionally, some states have laws that either require replenishment of investment losses under certain circumstances or impose various restrictions on withdrawals of future earnings when trust fund values drop below certain prescribed amounts. In the event of realized losses or market declines, we may be required to deposit portions or all of these amounts into the respective trusts in some future period.
Increasing death benefits related to preneed funeral contracts funded through life insurance contracts may not cover future increases in the cost of providing a price-guaranteed funeral service.
We sell price-guaranteed preneed funeral contracts through various programs providing for future funeral services at prices prevailing when the agreements are signed. For preneed funeral contracts funded through life insurance contracts, we receive in cash a general agency commission from the third-party insurance company. Additionally, there is an increasing death benefit associated with the contract that may vary over the contract life. There is no guarantee that the increasing death benefit will cover future increases in the cost of providing a price-guaranteed funeral service, and any such excess cost could be materially adverse to our future cash flows, revenues, and operating margins.
The financial condition of third-party insurance companies that fund our preneed funeral contracts may impact our future revenues.
Where permitted, customers may arrange their preneed funeral contract by purchasing a life insurance policy from third-party insurance companies. The customer/policy holder assigns the policy benefits to our funeral home to pay for the preneed

11

Table of Contents

funeral contract at the time of need. If the financial condition of the third-party insurance companies were to deteriorate materially because of market conditions or otherwise, there could be an adverse effect on our ability to collect all or part of the proceeds of the life insurance policy, including the annual increase in the death benefit, when we fulfill the preneed contract at the time of need. Failure to collect such proceeds could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
Our ability to execute our growth strategy is highly dependent upon our ability to successfully identify suitable acquisition candidates and negotiate transactions on favorable terms.
There is no assurance that we will be able to continue to identify candidates that meet our criteria or that we will be able to reach terms with identified candidates for transactions that are acceptable to us, and even if we do, we may not be able to successfully complete the transaction or integrate the new business into our existing business. We intend to apply standards established under our Strategic Acquisition Model to evaluate acquisition candidates, and there is no assurance that we will continue to be successful in doing so or that we will find attractive candidates that satisfy these standards. Due in part to the presence of competitors who have been in certain markets longer than we have, such acquisitions or investments may be more difficult or expensive than we anticipate.
Increased or unanticipated costs, such as insurance or taxes, may have a negative impact on our earnings and cash flow.
We may experience material increases in certain costs, such as insurance or taxes, which result from recent federal legislation or state and local governments raising taxes in an effort to balance budgets. These costs are difficult to quantify in the future and may impair our ability to achieve earnings growth in excess of revenue growth. Our forecast assumes that we will be successful in increasing earnings at a rate that is greater than revenue growth. We can give no assurance that we will be successful in achieving such increases.
Improved performance in our funeral and cemetery segments is highly dependent upon successful execution of our Standards Operating Model.
We have implemented our Standards Operating Model to improve and better measure performance in our funeral and cemetery operations. We developed standards according to criteria, each with a different weighting, designed around market share, people, and operational and financial metrics. We also incentivize our location Managing Partners by giving them the opportunity to earn a fixed percentage of the field-level earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization based upon the number and weighting of the standards achieved. Our expectation is that, over time, the Standards Operating Model will result in improving field-level margins, market share, customer satisfaction and overall financial performance, but there is no assurance that these goals will be met. Failure to successfully implement our Standards Operating Model in our funeral and cemetery operations could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations, or cash flows.
The success of our businesses is typically dependent upon one or a few key employees for success because of the localized and personal nature of our business.
Death care businesses have built local heritage and tradition through successive generations, providing a foundation for ongoing business opportunities from established client family relationships and related referrals. We believe these relationships build trust in the community and are a key driver to market share. Our businesses, which tend to serve small local markets, usually have one or a few key employees that drive our relationships. Our ability to attract and retain qualified Managing Partners, sales force and other personnel, is an important factor in achieving future success. We can give no assurance that we can retain these employees or that these relationships will drive market share. Our inability to maintain qualified and productive Managing Partners, and sales force could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition, results of operations and cash flows.
Earnings from and principal of trust funds could be reduced by changes in financial markets and the mix of securities owned.
Earnings and investment gains and losses on trust funds are affected by financial market conditions and the specific fixed-income and equity securities that we choose to maintain in the funds. We may not choose the optimal mix for any particular market condition. Declines in earnings from perpetual care trust funds would cause a decline in current revenues, while declines in earnings from other trust funds could cause a decline in future cash flows and revenues.
Covenant restrictions under our debt instruments may limit our flexibility in operating and growing our business.
The terms of our Credit Facility and the convertible junior subordinated debenture may limit our ability and the ability of our subsidiaries to, among other things: incur additional debt; pay dividends or make distributions or redeem or repurchase

12

Table of Contents

stock; make investments; grant liens; make capital expenditures; enter into transactions with affiliates; enter into sale-leaseback transactions; sell assets; and acquire the assets of, or merge or consolidate with, other companies.
Our Credit Facility also requires us to maintain certain financial ratios. Complying with these restrictive covenants and financial ratios, as well as those that may be contained in any future debt agreements, may limit our ability to finance our future operations or capital needs or to take advantage of other favorable business opportunities. Our ability to comply with these restrictive covenants and financial ratios will depend on our future performance, which may be affected by events beyond our control. Our failure to comply with any of these covenants or restrictions when they apply could result in a default under any future debt instrument, which could result in acceleration of the debt under that instrument and, in some cases, the acceleration of debt under other instruments that contain cross-default or cross-acceleration provisions. In the case of an event of default, or in the event of a cross-default or cross-acceleration, we may not have sufficient funds available to make the required payments under our debt instruments. If we are unable to repay amounts owed under the terms of our Credit Facility, the lenders thereunder may be entitled to sell certain of our funeral assets to satisfy our obligations under the agreement.
Continued economic, financial and stock market fluctuations could affect future potential earnings and cash flows and could result in future goodwill impairments.
In addition to an annual review, we assess the impairment of goodwill whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may be greater than fair value. Factors that could trigger an interim impairment review include, but are not limited to, a significant decline in the market value of our stock or debt values, significant under-performance relative to historical or projected future operating results, and significant negative industry or economic trends. If these factors occur, we may have a triggering event, which could result in impairment to our goodwill. Based on the results of our annual goodwill impairment test we performed as of August 31, 2012, we concluded that there was no impairment of our goodwill. However, if current economic conditions weaken causing deterioration in our operating revenues, operating margins and cash flows, we may have a triggering event that could result in an impairment of our goodwill.
Health care reform could increase health care costs and may have a negative impact on earnings and cash flows.
In 2010, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act of 2010 became effective, together enacting comprehensive health care reform in the United States. The legislation is likely to increase our health care costs. Many provisions of the law that could impact our business will not become effective until 2014, or later, and require implementation through regulations that have not yet been promulgated. Accordingly, the costs and other effects of the legislation, which may include the cost of compliance and potentially increased costs of providing medical insurance for our employees, cannot be determined with certainty at this time. Some of the costs impacting our business are largely beyond our control. To the extent that we are unable to pass these cost increases on to our customers, they will have a negative impact on our earnings and cash flows.
Vesting and settlement of performance-based stock awards could dilute our stockholders' existing ownership interests, earnings per share and decrease cash flow.
In August 2012, when the price of our common stock was $7.76, the Compensation Committee of our Board granted performance-based stock awards (the “PBS Awards”) pursuant to the Carriage Services, Inc. Second Amended and Restated 2006 Long-Term Incentive Plan to certain of our employees and outside directors.  To the extent vested, each PBS Award represents the right to receive a specified number of shares of our common stock, subject to the grantee's payment, with respect to each share of common stock subject to such PBS Award, of an amount equal to the greater of (a) the then-current market price per share of our common stock on the date such PBS Award was granted plus $0.50 or (b) $9.00. Each PBS Award will become vested if the closing price of our common stock is greater than or equal to $21.50 on any three days, whether or not consecutive, within a period of 30 consecutive calendar days, subject to the applicable grantee's continuous employment or service relationship with us through such date (the “Price Vesting Date”).  However, if the Price Vesting Date occurs prior to the first anniversary of the grant date, then each PBS Award will not become vested until the first anniversary of such grant date, subject to the applicable grantee's continued employment or service relationship with us through the first anniversary of the grant date. In the event that all of the PBS Awards vest and are settled, up to 1,705,000 shares of our common stock could be issued within a short time period and, potentially, on the same day.  However, the ultimate number of shares of our common stock that are issued with respect to vested PBS Awards will be reduced to the extent that a grantee elects to have shares withheld from a PBS Award to pay the purchase price under, or to satisfy our tax withholding obligations with respect to, such PBS Award.  If all PBS Awards vest and all individuals who have received PBS Awards elect to pay the purchase price and to satisfy our tax withholding obligations with respect to their PBS Awards by directing us to reduce the number of our shares of common stock deliverable to them under their PBS Awards, approximately 600,000 to 700,000 shares of our common stock could be issued to employees and directors. The issuance of such shares of our common stock within such time period could have the following effects: (i) an existing stockholder's proportionate ownership interest in the Company could decrease; (ii)

13

Table of Contents

the relative voting power of each previously outstanding share of our common stock could be diminished; (iii) net income and earnings per share could decline; (iv) the stock price of a share of our common stock could decline; and ( v) cash flow from financing activities could decrease.
Our “Good to Great” incentive program could result in significant future payments to our Managing Partners.
In January, 2012, in order to continue to align our Managing Partners' incentives with the long term interests of our stockholders, we implemented our “Good to Great” incentive program, which rewards our Managing Partners for achieving an average net revenue compounded annual growth rate equal to at least 2% (the “Minimum Growth Rate”) over a five-year performance period (the “Performance Period”) with respect to our funeral homes that they operate. The initial performance period commenced on January 1, 2012 and will end on December 31, 2016. Each Managing Partner that achieves the Minimum Growth Rate during the applicable Performance Period and remains continuously employed as a Managing Partner of the same business throughout the Performance Period will receive a one-time bonus, payable in cash, shares of our common stock or a combination of cash and shares our common stock as determined in our discretion. In the event that large number of our Managing Partners earn a bonus under this program, we could incur a material outlay of capital in 2017 and this incentive program could result in a decrease in net income.
RISKS RELATED TO THE DEATH CARE INDUSTRY
Declines in the number of deaths in our markets can cause a decrease in revenues. Changes in the number of deaths are not predictable from market to market or over the short term.
Declines in the number of deaths could cause at-need sales of funeral and cemetery services, property and merchandise to decline, which could decrease revenues. Although the U.S. Bureau of the Census estimates that the number of deaths in the United States will increase in the future, longer life spans could reduce the rate of deaths. In addition, changes in the number of deaths can vary among local markets and from quarter to quarter, and variations in the number of deaths in our markets or from quarter to quarter are not predictable. These variations may cause our revenues to fluctuate and our results of operations to lack predictability.
The increasing number of cremations in the United States could cause revenues to decline because we could lose market share to firms specializing in cremations. In addition, direct cremations produce minimal revenues for cemetery operations and lower funeral revenues.
Our traditional cemetery and funeral service operations face competition from the increasing number of cremations in the United States. Industry studies indicate that the percentage of cremations has increased every year and this trend is expected to continue into the future. The trend toward cremation could cause cemeteries and traditional funeral homes to lose market share and revenues to firms specializing in cremations. In addition, direct cremations (with no funeral service, casket, urn, mausoleum niche, columbarium niche or burial) produce no revenues for cemetery operations and lower revenues than traditional funerals and, when delivered at a traditional funeral home, produce lower profits as well.
If we are not able to respond effectively to changing consumer preferences, our market share, revenues and profitability could decrease.
Future market share, revenues and profits will depend in part on our ability to anticipate, identify and respond to changing consumer preferences. In past years, we have implemented new product and service strategies based on results of customer surveys that we conduct on a continuous basis. However, we may not correctly anticipate or identify trends in consumer preferences, or we may identify them later than our competitors do. In addition, any strategies we may implement to address these trends may prove incorrect or ineffective.
Because the funeral and cemetery businesses are high fixed-cost businesses, changes in revenue can have a disproportionately large effect on cash flow and profits.
Companies in the funeral home and cemetery business must incur many of the costs of operating and maintaining facilities, land and equipment regardless of the level of sales in any given period. For example, we must pay salaries, utilities, property taxes and maintenance costs on funeral homes and maintain the grounds of cemeteries regardless of the number of funeral services or interments performed. Because we cannot decrease these costs significantly or rapidly when we experience declines in sales, declines in sales can cause margins, profits and cash flow to decline at a greater rate than the decline in revenues.

14

Table of Contents

Changes or increases in, or failure to comply with, regulations applicable to our business could increase costs or decrease cash flows.
The death care industry is subject to extensive and evolving regulation and licensing requirements under federal, state and local laws. For example, the funeral home industry is regulated by the FTC, which requires funeral homes to take actions designed to protect consumers. State laws impose licensing requirements and regulate preneed sales. Embalming and cremation facilities are subject to stringent environmental and health regulations. Compliance with these regulations is burdensome, and we are always at risk of not complying with the regulations or facing costly and burdensome investigations from regulatory authorities.
In addition, from time to time, governments and agencies propose to amend or add regulations, which could increase costs or decrease cash flows. For example, federal, state, local and other regulatory agencies have considered and may enact additional legislation or regulations that could affect the death care industry. Several states and regulatory agencies have considered or are considering regulations that could require more liberal refund and cancellation policies for preneed sales of products and services, limit or eliminate our ability to use surety bonding, increase trust requirements and/or prohibit the common ownership of funeral homes and cemeteries in the same market. If adopted by the regulatory authorities of the jurisdictions in which we operate, these and other possible proposals could have a material adverse effect on us, our financial condition, our results of operations and our future prospects. For additional information regarding the regulation of the death care industry, see Part I, Item 1, Business, Regulation.
We are subject to environmental and worker health and safety laws and regulations that may expose us to significant costs and liabilities.
Our cemetery and funeral home operations are subject to stringent federal, state and local laws and regulations governing worker health and safety aspects of the operations, the release or disposal of materials into the environment or otherwise relating to environmental protection. These laws and regulations may restrict or impact our business in many ways, including requiring the acquisition of a permit before conducting regulated activities, restricting the types, quantities and concentration of substances that can be released into the environment, applying specific health and safety criteria addressing worker protection, and imposing substantial liabilities for any pollution resulting from our operations. We may be required to make significant capital and operating expenditures to comply with these laws and regulations and any failure to comply may result in the assessment of administrative, civil and criminal penalties, imposition of investigatory or remedial obligations and the issuance of injunctions restricting or prohibiting our activities. Spills or other unauthorized releases of regulated substances in the course of our operations could expose us to material losses, expenditures and liabilities under applicable environmental laws and regulations, and result in neighboring landowners and other third parties filing claims for personal injury, property damage and natural resource damage allegedly caused by such spills or releases. Certain of these laws may impose strict, joint and several liabilities upon us for the remediation of contaminated property resulting from our or a predecessor owner's or operator's operations. We may not be able to recover some or any of these costs from insurance or contractual indemnifications. Moreover, changes in environmental laws and regulations occur frequently, and any changes that result in more stringent or costly emissions control or waste handling, disposal or cleanup requirements could require us to make significant expenditures to attain and maintain compliance and may otherwise have a material adverse effect on our results of operations, competitive position or financial condition.
ITEM 1B.
UNRESOLVED STAFF COMMENTS.
None.
ITEM 2.
PROPERTIES.
At December 31, 2012 , we operated 167 funeral homes in 26 states and 33 cemeteries in 12 states. We own the real estate and buildings for 82% of our funeral homes and lease facilities for the remaining 18%. We own 29 cemeteries and operate four cemeteries under long-term contracts with municipalities and non-profit organizations at December 31, 2012 . Eleven funeral homes are operated in combination with cemeteries as these locations are physically located on the same property or very close proximity and under the same management. The 33 cemeteries operated by us have an inventory of unsold developed lots totaling approximately 161,933 and 166,084 at December 31, 2011 and 2012 , respectively. In addition, approximately 592 acres are available for future development. We anticipate having a sufficient inventory of lots to maintain our property sales for the foreseeable future. The specialized nature of our business requires that our facilities be well-maintained. Management believes we currently meet this standard.

15

Table of Contents

The following table sets forth certain information as of December 31, 2012 , regarding Carriage’s properties used by the funeral home segment and by the cemetery segment identified by state:
 
 
Number of
Funeral Homes
 
Number of
Cemeteries
State
Owned
 
Leased (1)
 
Owned
 
Managed
California
26

 
3

 
4

 

Connecticut
7

 
3

 

 

Florida
7

 
9

 
6

 
3

Georgia
4

 

 

 

Idaho
6

 
1

 
3

 

Illinois
1

 
3

 
1

 

Kansas
6

 

 

 

Kentucky
8

 
3

 
1

 

Maryland
1

 

 

 

Massachusetts
12

 

 

 

Michigan
3

 

 

 

Montana
2

 
1

 
1

 

Nevada
2

 

 
2

 
1

New Jersey
4

 
1

 

 

New Mexico
1

 

 

 

New York
2

 

 

 

North Carolina
2

 
2

 
1

 

Ohio
5

 
1

 

 

Oklahoma
7

 

 
2

 

Pennsylvania
1

 

 

 

Rhode Island
4

 

 

 

Tennessee
3

 

 

 

Texas
17

 
1

 
7

 

Virginia
3

 
1

 
1

 

Washington
1

 
1

 

 

West Virginia
1

 
1

 

 

Total
136

 
31

 
29

 
4

 
(1)
The leases, with respect to these funeral homes, generally have remaining terms ranging from one to nine years, and, generally, we have the right to renew past the initial terms and have a right of first refusal on any proposed sale of the property where these funeral homes are located.
Our corporate headquarters occupy approximately 48,000 square feet of leased office space in Houston, Texas. At December 31, 2012 , we owned and operated 696 vehicles and leased 2 vehicles.
ITEM 3.
LEGAL PROCEEDINGS.
We and our subsidiaries are parties to a number of legal proceedings that arise from time to time in the ordinary course of our business. While the outcome of these proceedings cannot be predicted with certainty, we do not expect these matters to have a material adverse effect on our financial statements. Information regarding litigation is set forth in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 15.
We self-insure against certain risks and carry insurance with coverage and coverage limits for risks in excess of the coverage amounts consistent with our assessment of risks in our business and of an acceptable level of financial exposure. Although there can be no assurance that self-insurance reserves and insurance will be sufficient to mitigate all damages, claims or contingencies, we believe that the reserves and our insurance provide reasonable coverage for known asserted and

16

Table of Contents

unasserted claims. In the event we sustain a loss from a claim and the insurance carrier disputes coverage or coverage limits, we may record a charge in a different period than the recovery, if any, from the insurance carrier.

ITEM 4.
MINE SAFETY DISCLOSURES.
Not applicable.
PART II
 
ITEM 5.
MARKET FOR REGISTRANT’S COMMON EQUITY, RELATED STOCKHOLDER MATTERS AND ISSUER PURCHASES OF EQUITY SECURITIES.
MARKET INFORMATION
Our common stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol “CSV”. The following table presents the quarterly high and low sale prices as reported by the New York Stock Exchange:
 
2012
High
 
Low
First Quarter
$
7.59

 
$
5.40

Second Quarter
$
8.59

 
$
6.91

Third Quarter
$
10.40

 
$
7.65

Fourth Quarter
$
11.99

 
$
9.26

 
 
 
 
2011
High
 
Low
First Quarter
$
5.98

 
$
4.62

Second Quarter
$
6.57

 
$
5.41

Third Quarter
$
6.14

 
$
5.05

Fourth Quarter
$
6.30

 
$
5.12

As of March 13, 2013 , there were 18,109,986 shares of our common stock outstanding and the closing price as reported by the New York Stock Exchange was $19.33 per share. The shares of common stock outstanding are held by approximately 450 stockholders of record. Each share is entitled to one vote on matters requiring the vote of stockholders. We believe there are approximately 5,000 beneficial owners of our common stock.
DIVIDENDS
The Board declared four quarterly dividends of $0.025 per share, totaling approximately $1.8 million, which were paid on March 1, 2012, June 1, 2012, September 1, 2012 and December 3, 2012 respectively, to record holders of our common stock as of February 13, 2012, May 15, 2012, August 17, 2012 and November 13, 2012 respectively. Prior to June 1, 2011, we had never paid cash dividends on our common stock. We intend to pay dividends in 2013.
EQUITY PLANS
For information regarding securities authorized for issuance under our equity compensation plans, see Part III, Item 12, Security Ownership of Certain Beneficial Owners and Management and Related Stockholder Matters.
PURCHASES OF SECURITIES BY THE ISSUER
In May 2012, our Board of Directors approved an increase to the share repurchase program authorizing the Company to purchase an additional $3 million of our common stock up to an aggregate of $8 million. The repurchases are to be executed in the open market and through privately negotiated transactions subject to market conditions, normal trading restrictions and other relevant factors. During 2010, we did not repurchase any shares of our common stock. Through December 31, 2011, we repurchased 126,952 shares of our common stock at an aggregate cost of $736,456 and an average share price of $5.82. Through December 31, 2012, we repurchased 686,208 shares of our common stock at an aggregate cost of $4.5 million and an average share price of $6.60. All 2012 purchases were made in the first half of the year. The repurchased shares are held as Treasury stock.

17

Table of Contents

 
PERFORMANCE
The following graph compares the cumulative 5-year total return provided to shareholders on our common stock relative to the cumulative total returns of the Russell MicroCap Index, the Russell 3000 Index, and a customized peer group of three companies that includes: SCI, Stewart and StoneMor. The returns of each member of the peer group are weighted according to each member’s stock market capitalization as of the beginning of each period measured. The graph assumes that the value of the investment in our common stock, the Russell MicroCap Index, the Russell 3000 Index and the peer group was $100 on the last trading day of December 2007, and that all dividends were reinvested. Performance data for Carriage Services, Inc., the Russell MicroCap Index, the Russell 3000 Index and the peer group is provided as of the last trading day of each of our last five fiscal years.
The following graph and related information shall not be deemed “soliciting material” or “filed” with the SEC, nor shall such information be incorporated by reference into any future filing under the Securities Act or the Exchange Act, each as amended, except to the extent that we specifically incorporate it by reference.


COMPARISON OF 5 YEAR CUMULATIVE TOTAL RETURN*
Among Carriage Services, Inc., the Russell MicroCap Index, the Russell 3000 Index and a Peer Group
*
$100 invested on December 31, 2007 in stock or index, including reinvestment of dividends.

18

Table of Contents

Fiscal year ending December 31. Peer Group includes SCI, Stewart and StoneMor.  
 
12/07
 
12/08
 
12/09
 
12/10
 
12/11
 
12/12
Carriage Services, Inc.
$
100.00

 
$
22.84

 
$
44.66

 
$
55.11

 
$
64.49

 
$
138.42

Russell MicroCap
100.00

 
60.22

 
76.77

 
98.95

 
89.77

 
107.50

Russell 3000
100.00

 
62.69

 
80.46

 
94.08

 
95.05

 
110.65

Peer Group
100.00

 
36.70

 
63.26

 
71.98

 
83.44

 
107.19


The stock price performance included in this graph is not necessarily indicative of future stock price performance.

19

Table of Contents

ITEM 6.
SELECTED FINANCIAL DATA.
The table on the following page sets forth selected consolidated financial information for us that has been derived from the audited Consolidated Financial Statements of the Company as of and for each of the years ended December 31, 2008, 2009, 2010 , 2011 and 2012 . These historical results are not indicative of our future performance.

You should read this historical financial data together with “Management's Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations” included in this Form 10-K and our Consolidated Financial Statements and notes thereto included elsewhere in this Form 10-K.

20

Table of Contents

Selected Consolidated Financial Information
 
 
Year ended December 31,
 
2008
 
2009
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
 
(dollars in thousands, except per share amounts)
INCOME STATEMENT DATA:
 
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Funeral
$
131,878

 
$
128,765

 
$
135,906

 
$
143,144

 
$
154,057

Cemetery
41,895

 
45,685

 
45,895

 
44,534

 
50,092

Total revenues
173,773

 
174,450

 
181,801

 
187,678

 
204,149

Gross profit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Funeral
37,554

 
38,563

 
37,952

 
41,975

 
47,482

Cemetery
5,806

 
7,651

 
9,485

 
10,097

 
14,393

Total gross profit
43,360

 
46,214

 
47,437

 
52,072

 
61,875

General and administrative expenses
18,101

 
15,989

 
16,792

 
22,745

 
23,458

Operating income
25,259

 
30,225

 
30,645

 
29,327

 
38,417

Interest expense
(18,260
)
 
(18,318
)
 
(18,262
)
 
(18,104
)
 
(17,100
)
Litigation settlement
(3,300
)
 

 

 

 

Gain on repurchase of junior subordinated debentures

 

 
317

 
846

 

Loss on early extinguishment of debt and other costs

 
(180
)
 

 
(201
)
 
(3,031
)
Interest and other income
229

 
228

 
751

 
51

 
963

Income before income taxes
3,928

 
11,955

 
13,451

 
11,919

 
19,249

Provision for income taxes
(1,886
)
 
(4,752
)
 
(5,370
)
 
(5,066
)
 
(7,642
)
Net income from continuing operations
2,042

 
7,203

 
8,081

 
6,853

 
11,607

Income (loss) from discontinued operations
(1,784
)
 
(155
)
 
(2
)
 
125

 
(204
)
Preferred stock dividend
10

 
14

 
14

 
14

 
14

Net income
$
248

 
$
7,034

 
$
8,065

 
$
6,964

 
$
11,389

Earnings (loss) per share
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
$
0.10

 
$
0.41

 
$
0.46

 
$
0.37

 
$
0.64

Discontinued operations
(0.09
)
 
(0.01
)
 

 
0.01

 
(0.01
)
Basic earnings per share
$
0.01

 
$
0.40

 
$
0.46

 
$
0.38

 
$
0.63

Diluted:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Continuing operations
$
0.10

 
$
0.41

 
$
0.45

 
$
0.37

 
$
0.64

Discontinued operations
(0.09
)
 
(0.01
)
 

 
0.01

 
(0.01
)
Diluted earnings per share
$
0.01

 
$
0.40

 
$
0.45

 
$
0.38

 
$
0.63

Dividends declared per share
$

 
$

 
$

 
$
0.075

 
$
0.100

Weighted average number of common and common equivalent shares outstanding:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Basic
19,054

 
17,573

 
17,635

 
18,359

 
18,126

Diluted
19,362

 
17,749

 
17,938

 
18,397

 
18,226

OPERATING AND FINANCIAL DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Funeral homes at end of period
136

 
138

 
147

 
159

 
167

Cemeteries at end of period
32

 
32

 
33

 
33

 
33

Funeral services performed
25,531

 
24,362

 
25,801

 
27,663

 
28,356

Preneed funeral contracts sold
4,916

 
5,615

 
6,485

 
7,197

 
6,979

Backlog of preneed funeral contracts
69,575

 
72,172

 
79,842

 
81,030

 
81,585

Average revenue per funeral contract
$
5,154

 
$
5,296

 
$
5,266

 
$
5,184

 
$
5,369

Cremation rate
38.2
%
 
40.4
%
 
42.9
%
 
45.0
%
 
46.0
%
Depreciation and amortization
$
10,368

 
$
10,339

 
$
9,953

 
$
9,585

 
$
10,054

BALANCE SHEET DATA:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Total assets
$
560,293

 
$
619,298

 
$
671,012

 
$
672,777

 
$
738,085

Working capital
9,100

 
12,004

 
2,535

 
(1,097
)
 
(9,036
)
Long-term debt, net of current maturities
132,345

 
131,898

 
132,416

 
135,000

 
163,541

Convertible junior subordinated debenture
93,750

 
93,750

 
92,858

 
89,770

 
89,770

Stockholders’ equity
103,510

 
108,222

 
119,673

 
126,778

 
134,818


21

Table of Contents

ITEM 7.
MANAGEMENT’S DISCUSSION AND ANALYSIS OF FINANCIAL CONDITION AND RESULTS OF OPERATIONS.
OVERVIEW
General
We operate two types of businesses: funeral homes, which account for approximately 75% of our revenues, and cemeteries, which account for approximately 25% of our revenues. Funeral homes are principally a service business that provide funeral services (traditional burial and cremation) and sell related merchandise, such as caskets and urns. Cemeteries are primarily a sales business that sells interment rights (grave sites and mausoleum spaces) and related merchandise, such as markers and outer burial containers. As of December 31, 2012 , we operated 167 funeral homes in 26 states and 33 cemeteries in 12 states within the United States. Substantially all administrative activities are conducted in our home office in Houston, Texas.
We have implemented a long-term strategy in our operations designed to improve operating and financial results by growing market share and increasing profitability. We have a decentralized, entrepreneurial and local operating model that includes operating and financial standards developed from our best operations, along with an incentive compensation plan to reward Managing Partners for successfully meeting or exceeding the standards. The model essentially eliminated the use of line-item financial budgets at the location level in favor of the standards. The operating model and its standards, which we refer to as the “Standards Operating Model,” focus on the key drivers of a successful operation, organized around three primary areas - market share, people and operating financial metrics. The model and standards are the measures by which we judge the success of each business. In 2012, We began a five year incentive plan, called “Good to Great,” which reward business managers, known as “Managing Partners,” with a bonus at the end of five years, equal to a ratio of 4 to 6 times their average annual bonus, if they are able to achieve an annual compound growth rate of 2% over a five year period. To date, the Standards Operating Model has driven significant changes in our organization, leadership and operating practices. Most importantly, the Standards Operating Model has allowed us to measure the sustainable revenue growth and earning power of our portfolio businesses. The Standards Operating Model led to the development of our Strategic Acquisition Model, described below under “Acquisitions,” which guides our acquisition and disposition strategy. We expect both models to drive longer term, sustainable increases in market share, revenue, earnings and cash flow. The standards are not designed to produce maximum short-term earnings because we do not believe such performance is sustainable without ultimately stressing the business, which often leads to declining market share, revenues and earnings. Important elements of the Standards Operating Model include:
Balanced Operating Model – We believe a decentralized structure works best in the death care industry. Successful execution of the Standards Operating Model is highly dependent on strong local leadership, intelligent risk taking, entrepreneurial drive and corporate support aligned with the key drivers of a successful operation organized around three primary areas - market share, people and operating financial metrics.
Incentives Aligned with Standards – Empowering Managing Partners to do the right things in their operations and local communities, and providing appropriate support with operating and financial practices, will enable long-term growth and sustainable profitability. Each Managing Partner participates in a variable bonus plan whereby he or she earns a percentage of his or her respective business' earnings based upon the actual standards achieved as long as the performance exceeds our minimum standards.
The Right Local Leadership – Successful execution of our operating model is highly dependent on strong local leadership as defined by our 4E Leadership Model, intelligent risk taking and entrepreneurial empowerment. A Managing Partner’s performance is judged according to achievement of the Standards for that business.
Funeral and Cemetery Operations
Factors affecting our funeral operating results include: demographic trends relating to population growth and average age, which impact death rates and number of deaths; establishing and maintaining leading market share positions supported by strong local heritage and relationships; effectively responding to increasing cremation trends by selling complementary services and merchandise; controlling salary and merchandise costs; and exercising pricing leverage related to our at-need business to increase average revenue per contract. In simple terms, volume and price are the two variables that affect funeral revenues. The average revenue per contract is influenced by the mix of traditional and cremation services because our average cremation service revenue is approximately one-third of the average revenue earned from a traditional burial service. Funeral homes have a relatively fixed cost structure. Thus, small changes in revenues, up or down, normally cause significant changes to our profitability.
Our funeral volumes have increased from 24,510 in 2008 to 28,356 in 2012 (compound annual increase of 3.7%). Our funeral operating revenue has increased from $124.1 million in 2008 to $146.4 million in 2012 (compound annual increase of 4.2%). The increases are primarily a result of businesses we have acquired in the last five years and our ability to increase the

22

Table of Contents

average revenue per funeral through expanded service offerings and packages. Additional funeral revenue from preneed commissions and preneed funeral trust earnings has remained flat at $7.7 million in 2008 to 2012 . We experienced a 2.6% decline in volumes in comparing the year ended December 31, 2012 to the year ended December 31, 2011 on a same store basis, while the average revenue per contract for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased 0.7% compared to the year ended December 31, 2011, on a same store basis.
The percentage of funeral services involving cremations has increased from 38.2% for the year ended 2008 to 46.0% for the year ended 2012 . A significant portion of that change is the result of acquiring businesses in high cremation areas. On a same store basis, the cremation rate has risen to 44.5% for the year ended December 31, 2012 , up from 42.7% for the comparable period in 2011 and 38.2% in 2008.
Cemetery operating results are affected by the size and success of our sales organization. Approximately 50% of our 2011 cemetery revenues related to preneed sales of interment rights and related merchandise and services. For the year ended December 31, 2012 those preneed sales were approximately 47% of cemetery operating revenues. We believe that changes in the economy and consumer confidence affect the amount of preneed cemetery operating revenues. Cemetery revenues from investment earnings on trust funds grew from $2.3 million in 2008 to $8.5 million in 2012 . Changes in the capital markets and interest rates affect this component of our cemetery revenues.
Our cemetery financial performance from 2008 through 2012 was characterized by fluctuating operating revenues yet increasing field level cemetery profit margins. Cemetery operating revenue increased from $38.0 million in 2008 to $40.1 million in 2012 and increased 5.0% over 2011 . Our goal is to build broader and deeper teams of sales leaders and counselors in our larger and more strategically located cemeteries in order to focus on growth of our preneed property sales. Additionally, a portion of our capital expenditures in 2013 is designed to expand our cemetery product offerings.
Financial Revenue
We market funeral and cemetery services and products on a preneed basis. Preneed funeral or cemetery contracts enable families to establish, in advance, the type of service to be performed, the products to be used and the cost of such products and services. Preneed contracts permit families to eliminate issues of making death care plans at the time of need and allow input from other family members before the death occurs. We guarantee the price and performance of the preneed contracts to the customer.
Preneed funeral contracts are usually paid on an installment basis. The performance of preneed funeral contracts is usually secured by placing the funds collected in trust for the benefit of the customer or by the purchase of a life insurance policy, the proceeds of which will pay for such services at the time of need. Insurance policies, intended to fund preneed funeral contracts, cover the original contract price and generally include an element of growth (earnings) designed to offset future inflationary cost increases. Revenue from preneed funeral contracts, along with accumulated earnings, is not recognized until the time the funeral service is performed. The accumulated earnings from the trust investments and insurance policies are intended to offset the inflation in funeral prices. Additionally, we generally earn a commission from the insurance company from the sale of insurance-funded policies reflected as Preneed Insurance Commission . The commission income is recognized as revenue when the period of refund expires (generally one year), which helps us defray the costs we incur to originate the preneed contract (primarily commissions we pay to our sales counselors).
Preneed sales of cemetery interment rights are usually financed through interest-bearing installment sales contracts, generally with terms of up to five years with such earnings reflected as Preneed Cemetery Finance Charges . In substantially all cases, we receive an initial down payment at the time the contract is signed. Occasionally, we have offered zero percent interest financing to promote sales for limited-time offers. In most states, regulations require a portion (generally 10%) of the sale amount of cemetery property and memorials to be placed in a perpetual care trust.
We have established a variety of trusts in connection with funeral home and cemetery operations as required under applicable state laws. Such trusts include (i) preneed funeral trusts; (ii) preneed cemetery merchandise and service trusts; and (iii) perpetual care trusts. These trusts are typically administered by independent financial institutions selected by us. Investment management and advisory services are provided either by our wholly-owned registered investment advisor (CSV RIA) or independent financial advisors. As of December 31, 2012 , CSV RIA provides these services to one institution, which has custody of 68% of our trust assets, for a fee based on the market value of trust assets. Under state trust laws, we are allowed to charge the trust a fee for advising on the investment of the trust assets and these fees are recognized as income as the advisory services are provided. The investment advisors establish an investment policy that gives guidance on asset allocation, investment requirements, investment manager selection and performance monitoring. The investment objectives are toward generating long-term investment returns without assuming undue risk, while ensuring the management of assets is in compliance with applicable laws

23

Table of Contents

Preneed funeral trust fund income earned along with the receipt and recognition of any insurance benefits are deferred until the service is performed. Applicable state laws generally require us to deposit a specified amount (which varies from state to state, generally 50% to 100% of selling price) into a merchandise and service trust fund for preneed cemetery merchandise and service sales. The related trust fund income earned is recognized when the related merchandise and services are delivered. In most states, regulations require a portion (generally 10%) of the sale amount of cemetery property and memorials to be placed in a perpetual care trust. The income from perpetual care trusts provides a portion of the funds necessary to maintain cemetery property and memorials in perpetuity. Perpetual care trust fund income is recognized, as earned, in our cemetery revenues.
Acquisitions
Our growth strategy includes the execution of our Strategic Acquisition Model. We use six strategic ranking criteria to assess acquisition candidates and to differentiate the price we are willing to pay under a discounted cash flow methodology. Those criteria are:
Size of business;
Size of market;
Competitive standing;
Local market demographics;
Strength of brand; and
Barriers to entry.
In general terms, should a target business be acceptable per the criteria above, we will then determine the value of the target using a discounted cash flow methodology. During 2011 , we acquired six funeral home businesses and no cemetery businesses. The consideration paid for the 2011 acquisitions was $18.6 million. During 2012 , we acquired seven funeral home businesses and one cemetery business. The consideration paid for the 2012 acquisitions was $42.7 million .
OVERVIEW OF CRITICAL ACCOUNTING POLICIES AND ESTIMATES
The preparation of the Consolidated Financial Statements requires us to make estimates and judgments that affect the reported amounts of assets, liabilities, revenues and expenses. On an on-going basis, we evaluate estimates and judgments, including those related to revenue recognition, realization of accounts receivable, inventories, goodwill, other intangible assets, property and equipment and deferred tax assets. We base our estimates on historical experience, third party data and assumptions that we believe to be reasonable under the circumstances. The results of these considerations form the basis for making judgments about the amount and timing of revenues and expenses, the carrying value of assets and the recorded amounts of liabilities. Actual results may differ from these estimates and such estimates may change if the underlying conditions or assumptions change. Historical performance should not be viewed as indicative of future performance, because there can be no assurance the margins, operating income and net earnings as a percentage of revenues will be consistent from year to year.
Management’s discussion and analysis of financial condition and results of operations (“MD&A”) is based upon our Consolidated Financial Statements presented herewith, which have been prepared in accordance with accounting principles generally accepted in the United States. Our significant accounting policies are more fully described in Note 1 to our Consolidated Financial Statements. We believe the following critical accounting policies affect our more significant judgments and estimates used in the preparation of our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Funeral and Cemetery Operations
We record the sales of funeral and cemetery merchandise and services when the merchandise is delivered or service is performed. Sales of cemetery interment rights are recorded as revenue in accordance with the retail land sales accounting principles. This method generally provides for the recognition of revenue in the period in which the customer’s cumulative payments exceed 10% of the contract price related to the real estate. Costs related to the sales of interment rights, which include property and other costs related to cemetery development activities, are charged to operations using the specific identification method in the period in which the sale of the interment right is recognized as revenue. Revenues to be recognized and cash flow from the delivery of merchandise and performance of services related to preneed contracts that were acquired in acquisitions are typically lower than those originated by us.

24

Table of Contents

Allowances for bad debts and customer cancellations are provided at the date that the sale is recognized as revenue and are based on our historical experience and the current economic environment. We also monitor changes in delinquency rates and provide additional bad debt and cancellation reserves when warranted.
When preneed funeral services and merchandise are funded through third-party insurance policies, we earn a commission on the sale of the policies. Insurance commissions earned by the Company are recognized as revenues when the commission is no longer subject to refund, which is usually one year after the policy is issued. Preneed selling costs consist of sales commissions that we pay our sales counselors and other direct related costs of originating preneed sales contracts, and such costs are expensed as incurred.
Business Combinations
Tangible and intangible assets acquired and liabilities assumed are recorded at fair value and goodwill is recognized for any difference between the price of the acquisition and fair value. We recognize the assets acquired, the liabilities assumed and any non-controlling interest in the acquiree at the acquisition date, measured at the fair value as of that date. Goodwill is measured as a residual of the fair values at acquisition date. Acquisition related costs are recognized separately from the acquisition and are expensed as incurred. We customarily estimate related transaction costs known at closing. To the extent that information not available to us at the closing date subsequently becomes available during the allocation period we may adjust goodwill, assets, or liabilities associated with the acquisition.
Debt Obligations
The outstanding principal of long-term debt at December 31, 2012 totaled $178.8 million and consisted of $127.5 million under our term loan, $44.7 million outstanding under our revolving credit facility and $6.6 million in acquisition indebtedness and capital lease obligations.
On August 30, 2012, we replaced our previous credit obligations with the Credit Facility, a new $235 million secured bank credit facility with Bank of America, N.A. as the Administrative Agent, comprised of a $105 million revolving credit facility and a $130 million term loan. The Credit Facility also contains an accordion provision to borrow up to an additional $40 million in our revolving credit facility. The Credit Facility refinanced our previous credit facility, paid other transaction related fees and expenses and will provide for future corporate needs. The proceeds of the term loan borrowings were used to redeem and replace the Senior Notes, our existing 7 7 / 8 % senior notes, which were scheduled to mature in 2015. The Credit Facility is set to mature on September 30, 2017 and is collateralized by all personal property and funeral home real property in certain states. We have the option to pay interest under the Credit Facility at either the prime rate or LIBOR rate plus a margin. At December 31, 2012 , substantially all our borrowings under the Credit Facility were tied to the LIBOR rate.
Goodwill
The excess of the purchase price over the fair value of identifiable net assets of funeral home businesses acquired is recorded as goodwill. Goodwill has primarily been recorded in connection with the acquisition of funeral businesses. Goodwill is tested for impairment by assessing the fair value of each of our reporting units. The funeral segment reporting units consist of our East, Central and West regions in the United States and we performed our annual impairment test of goodwill using information as of August 31, 2012. In addition, we assess the impairment of goodwill whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may be greater than fair value. Factors that could trigger an interim impairment review include, but are not limited to, significant adverse changes in the business climate which may be indicated by a decline in our market capitalization or decline in operating results.
In September 2011, new guidance was issued to modify the method used to perform the first step of the two step process for the annual goodwill impairment test. The guidance permits an entity to first assess qualitative factors to determine whether it is more-likely-than-not that the fair value of a reporting unit is less than its carrying amount as a basis for determining whether it is necessary to perform the two-step goodwill impairment test. The more likely than not threshold is defined as having a likelihood of more than 50 percent. We adopted this update for its annual impairment testing as of August 31, 2011.
Prior to the adoption of the accounting method, our goodwill impairment test was performed under the two step process, which involves estimates and management judgment. In the first step of our goodwill testing, we compared the fair value of each reporting unit to its carrying value, including goodwill. We determined fair value for each reporting unit using both a market approach, weighted 70 percent, and an income approach, weighted 30 percent. Our methodology for determining a market approach fair value utilized recent sales transactions in the industry. Our methodology for determining an income-based fair value was based on discounting projected future cash flows. The projected future cash flows include assumptions concerning future operating performance that may differ from actual future cash flows using a weighted average cost of capital for the Company and other public death care companies. Goodwill impairment is not recorded where the fair value of the reporting unit exceeds its carrying amount. If the fair value of the reporting unit is less than its carrying amount, the implied

25

Table of Contents

fair value of goodwill is compared to the carrying amount of the reporting unit’s goodwill and if the carrying amount exceeds the implied value, an impairment charge would be recorded in an amount equal to that excess.
In addition to our annual review, we assess the impairment of goodwill whenever events or changes in circumstances indicate that the carrying value may be greater than fair value. Factors that could trigger an interim impairment review include, but are not limited to, significant adverse changes in the business climate which may be indicated by a decline in our market capitalization or decline in operating results. The market capitalization of the Company consists of the common stock, term loan, revolving credit facility and convertible junior subordinated securities. No impairments were recorded in relation to our goodwill annual assessment in 2010 , 2011 or 2012 . No such events or changes occurred between the testing date and year end to trigger a subsequent impairment review. In 2012, $1.1 million of impairment was recorded on a location held for sale at year end.
See Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Notes 1, 2 and 4 for additional information.
Income Taxes
The Company and its subsidiaries file a consolidated U.S. Federal income tax return and separate income tax returns in the states in which we operate. We record deferred taxes for temporary differences between the tax basis and financial reporting basis of assets and liabilities, and account for uncertain tax positions in our financial statements. The Company records a valuation allowance to reflect the estimated amount of deferred tax assets for which realization is uncertain. Management reviews the valuation allowance at the end of each quarter and makes adjustments if it is determined that it is more likely than not that the tax benefits will be realized.
We analyze tax benefits for uncertain tax positions and how they are to be recognized, measured, and derecognized in financial statements; provide certain disclosures of uncertain tax matters; and specify how reserves for uncertain tax positions should be classified on the Consolidated Balance Sheets. We have reviewed our income tax positions and identified certain tax deductions, primarily related to business acquisitions that are not certain. Our policy with respect to potential penalties and interest is to record them as “Other” expense and Interest expense, respectively. The entire balance of unrecognized tax benefits, if recognized, would affect our effective tax rate. We do not anticipate a significant increase or decrease in its unrecognized tax benefits during the next twelve months.
Stock Plans and Stock-Based Compensation
We have stock-based employee and director compensation plans in the form of restricted stock, stock options, performance awards and employee stock purchase plans. We recognize compensation expense in an amount equal to the fair value of the share-based awards expected to vest over the requisite service period. Fair value is determined on the date of the grant. The fair value of options or awards containing options is determined using the Black-Scholes valuation model. The fair value of the performance awards is determined using a Monte-Carlo simulation pricing model.
Preneed Funeral and Cemetery Trust Funds
Our preneed and perpetual care trust funds are reported in accordance with principles of consolidating Variable Interest Entities (“VIEs”). In the case of preneed trusts, the customers are the legal beneficiaries. In the case of perpetual care trusts, we do not have a right to access the corpus in the perpetual care trusts. For these reasons, we have recognized financial interests of third parties in the trust funds in our financial statements as Deferred preneed funeral and cemetery receipts held in trust and Care trusts' corpus . The investments of such trust funds are classified as available-for-sale and are reported at market value; therefore, the unrealized gains and losses, as well as accumulated and undistributed income and realized gains and losses, are recorded to Deferred preneed receipts held in trust and Care trusts' corpus in our Consolidated Balance Sheets. Our future obligations to deliver merchandise and services are reported at estimated settlement amounts. Preneed funeral and cemetery trust investments are reduced by the trust investment earnings that we have been allowed to withdraw in certain states prior to maturity. These earnings, along with preneed contract collections not required to be placed in trust, are recorded in Deferred preneed funeral revenue and Deferred preneed cemetery revenue until the service is performed or the merchandise is delivered.

In accordance with respective state laws, we are required to deposit a specified amount into perpetual and memorial care trust funds for each interment/entombment right and memorial sold. Income from the trust funds is distributed to Carriage and used to provide care and maintenance for the cemeteries and mausoleums. Such trust fund income is recognized as revenue when realized by the trust and distributable to the Company. We are restricted from withdrawing any of the principal balances of these funds.
An enterprise is required to perform an analysis to determine whether the enterprise’s variable interest(s) give it a controlling financial interest in a VIE. This analysis identifies the primary beneficiary of a VIE as the enterprise that has both

26

Table of Contents

the power to direct the activities of a VIE that most significantly impact the entity’s economic performance and the obligation to absorb losses of the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE or the right to receive benefits from the entity that could potentially be significant to the VIE. Our analysis continues to support our position as the primary beneficiary in certain of our funeral and cemetery trust funds.
Trust management fees are earned by us for investment management and advisory services that are provided by our wholly-owned registered investment advisor (CSV RIA). As of December 31, 2012 , CSV RIA provides these services to one institution, which has custody of 68% of our trust assets, for a fee based on the market value of trust assets. Under state trust laws, we are allowed to charge the trust a fee for advising on the investment of the trust assets and these fees are recognized as income in the period in which advisory services are provided.
We determine whether or not the assets in the preneed trusts have an other-than-temporary impairment on a security-by-security basis. This assessment is made based upon a number of criteria including the length of time a security has been in a loss position, changes in market conditions and concerns related to the specific issuer. If a loss is considered to be other-than-temporary, the cost basis of the security is adjusted downward to its fair market value. Any reduction in the cost basis of the investment due to an other-than-temporary impairment is likewise recorded as a reduction in deferred preneed cemetery receipts held in trust. There will be no impact on earnings unless and until such time that investment is withdrawn from the trust in accordance with state regulations at an amount that is less than its original basis. The additional related disclosures are provided in Notes 6 and 10 to the Consolidated Financial Statements.
Fair Value Measurements
We define fair value as the price that would be received in the sale of an asset or paid to transfer a liability in an orderly transaction between market participants at the measurement date for items that are recognized or disclosed at fair value in the financial statements on a recurring basis (at least annually). We disclose the extent to which fair value is used to measure financial assets and liabilities, the inputs utilized in calculating valuation measurements, and the effect of the measurement of significant unobservable inputs on earnings, or changes in net assets, as of the measurement date. The fair value disclosures to disclose transfers in and out of Levels 1 and 2 and the gross presentation of purchases, sales, issuances and settlements in the Level 3 reconciliation of the three-tier fair value hierarchy are also presented herein in Note 11 to the Consolidated Financial Statements. We currently do not have any assets that have fair values determined by Level 3 inputs. We have not elected to measure any additional financial instruments and certain other items at fair value that are not currently required to be measured at fair value.
To determine the fair value of assets and liabilities in an environment where the volume and level of activity for the asset or liability have significantly decreased, the exit price is used as the fair value measurement. For the year ended December 31, 2011, we did not incur significant decreases in the volume or level of activity of any asset or liability. We consider an impairment of debt and equity securities other-than-temporary unless (i) the investor has the ability and intent to hold an investment and (ii) evidence indicating the cost of the investment is recoverable before we are more-likely-than-not required to sell the investment. If impairment is indicated, then an adjustment will be made to reduce the carrying amount to fair value. As of December 31, 2012 , no impairment has been identified.
In the ordinary course of business, we are typically exposed to a variety of market risks. Currently, these are primarily related to changes in fair market values related to outstanding debts and changes in the values of securities associated with the preneed and perpetual care trusts. Management is actively involved in monitoring exposure to market risk and developing and utilizing appropriate risk management techniques when appropriate and when available for a reasonable price. The convertible junior subordinated debentures, payable to Carriage Services Capital Trust, pay interest at the fixed rate of 7% and are carried on our Consolidated Balance Sheet at a cost of approximately $89.8 million . The fair value of these securities is estimated to be $86.2 million at December 31, 2012 based on available broker quotes of the corresponding preferred securities issued by the Trust.
For more information regarding fair value measurements, see Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 11.
Computation of Earnings per Common Share
Basic earnings per share are computed using the weighted average number of common shares outstanding during the period. Diluted earnings per share are computed using the weighted average number of common and dilutive common equivalent shares outstanding during the period. Dilutive common equivalent shares consist of stock options.
Share-based awards that contain non-forfeitable rights to dividends or dividend equivalents, whether paid or unpaid, are recognized as participating securities and included in the computation of both basic and diluted earnings per share. Our grants

27

Table of Contents

of restricted stock awards to our employees and directors are considered participating securities and we have prepared our earnings per share calculations to include outstanding unvested restricted stock awards in both the basic and diluted weighted average shares outstanding calculation. For the three years ended December 31, 2010 , 2011 and 2012 , the calculations for basic and diluted earnings per share are presented in Part II, Item 8, Financial Statements and Supplementary Data, Note 20.
Subsequent Events
Management evaluated events and transactions during the period beginning subsequent to December 31, 2012 through the date the financial statements were issued, for potential recognition or disclosure in the accompanying financial statements covered by this report. For more information regarding subsequent events, see Part II, Item 8, Financial Statement and Supplementary Data, Note 25.
RECENT ACCOUNTING PRONOUNCEMENTS AND ACCOUNTING CHANGES
Goodwill Impairment Testing
A more complete discussion of the new guidance regarding Goodwill is included in Part II, Item 7, Management’s Discussion and Analysis of Financial Condition and Results of Operations, Overview of Critical Accounting Polices and Estimates.
Fair Value Measurements
In May 2011, additional guidance was issued regarding how fair value measurements and disclosures should be applied where it is already required or permitted under International Financial Reporting Standards or United States Generally Accepted Accounting Principles. This new guidance clarifies and aligns the existing application of fair value measurement guidance and revises certain language. This guidance is effective for the first interim or annual period beginning after December 15, 2011, thus effective for the Company for the period beginning January 1, 2012. The adoption of this accounting standard update did not have a material impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
Comprehensive Income
In June 2011, new guidance was issued regarding the reporting of comprehensive income in financial statements. Entities will have the option to present the components of net income and comprehensive income in either a single continuous statement or two separate but consecutive statements. This new guidance eliminates the option to report other comprehensive income and its components in the statement of changes in stockholder’s equity. This guidance requires retrospective application and is effective for fiscal years, and interim periods within those years, beginning after December 15, 2011, thus effective for the Company for the period beginning January 1, 2012. The adoption of this accounting standard update did not have an impact on our Consolidated Financial Statements.
SELECTED INCOME AND OPERATIONAL DATA
The following table sets forth certain income statement data for Carriage expressed as a percentage of net revenues for the periods presented:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
Total revenues
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
 
100.0
%
Total gross profit
26.1

 
27.7

 
30.3

General and administrative expenses
9.2

 
12.1

 
11.5

Operating income
16.9

 
15.6

 
18.8

Interest expense
10.0

 
9.6

 
8.4


28

Table of Contents

The following table sets forth the number of funeral homes and cemeteries owned and operated by us for the periods presented:
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
 
2012
Funeral homes at beginning of period
138

 
147

 
159

Acquisitions
10

 
12

 
10

Divestitures or closures of existing funeral homes
(1
)
 

 
(2
)
Funeral homes at end of period
147

 
159

 
167

 
 
 
 
 
 
Cemeteries at beginning of period
32

 
33

 
33

Acquisitions
1

 

 
1

Divestitures

 

 
(1
)
Cemeteries at end of period
33

 
33

 
33

YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2012 COMPARED TO YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011
The following is a discussion of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2012 and 2011 . The term “same store” or “existing operations” refers to funeral homes and cemeteries acquired prior to January 1, 2007 and owned and operated for the entirety of each period being presented. Funeral homes and cemeteries purchased after January 1, 2007 are referred to as “acquired.” This classification of acquisitions has been important to management and investors in monitoring the results of these businesses and gauging the leveraging performance contribution that a selective acquisition program can have on our total performance. Depreciation and amortization and regional and unallocated funeral and cemetery costs are not included in operating profit.
Total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2012 was $204.1 million, an increase of 8.8%, compared to $187.7 million for the comparable period in 2011 and gross profit increased by $9.8 million, or 18.8% from 2011 to 2012 . Our acquired businesses drove the overall revenues higher, and both existing and acquired business contributed to the higher increase in gross profit in 2012 compared to 2011 . Operating income increased by $9.1 million from 2011 to 2012 due to margin growth from our acquisitions, existing funeral home businesses and financial profit. Net income from continuing operations for the year ended December 31, 2012 totaled $11.6 million, equal to $0.64 per diluted share as compared to $6.8 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 , or $0.37 per diluted share. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2012 totaled $11.4 million, equal to $0.63 per diluted share as compared to $7.0 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 , or $0.38 per diluted share as we had income from discontinued operations in 2011 and a loss in 2012.
Total funeral home and cemetery gross margin results improved in 2012 compared to 2011 and 2010 as the gross profit margin rose to 30.3% in 2012 compared to 27.7% in 2011 and 26.1% in 2010 . The increased gross profit margin translated into gross profit of $61.9 million in 2012 compared to $52.1 million in 2011 and $47.4 million in 2010 . The improvement was primarily due to the acquisitions.
General and administrative total expenses increased $0.7 million in 2012 compared to 2011 , the majority of which was due to hiring additional personnel within our national cemetery and preneed operations and increased incentive compensation.
 
Another source of increasing revenue and gross profit is the income recognized from the investments in the preneed funeral trust funds, the cemetery merchandise and services trust funds and the perpetual care trust funds. There was a major reallocation of investments that began in the latter half of 2008, which led to increasing revenue over the four year period ending December 31, 2012 as a result of substantially higher income from fixed income securities and from capital gains recognized in the portfolios. For the four year period ended December 31, 2012 , the performance of the funds, which includes realized income and unrealized appreciation, resulted in a 99.8% return. Investment income realized in the perpetual care trust funds (except for capital gains in certain states) is recognized as income when earned in the portfolio. Investment income realized in the preneed funeral trust funds and the cemetery merchandise and services trust funds is allocated to the individual preneed contracts and deferred from revenue until the time that the service and merchandise are delivered to the customer. Because higher income has accumulated in the preneed trust funds, management expects increasing revenue in the future as the preneed contracts are delivered. The increase in revenues from trust earnings from 2011 to 2012 totaled $3.2 million and the increase in revenues from trust earnings from 2010 to 2011 totaled $0.6 million. The increase in 2012 was due to an increase in realized interest income in our perpetual care accounts and increased earnings from delivered preneed contracts.

29

Table of Contents

In certain states, we are allowed to withdraw realized trust earnings prior to delivery from cemetery merchandise and services trusts, which management describes as “Withdrawable trust income.” The Withdrawable trust income totaled $4.5 million and $1.9 million, respectively, for the years ended December 31, 2011 , and 2012 . The year over year decline was attributable to substantial gains realized in the trust funds throughout 2011 that was not repeated in 2012. While the Withdrawable trust income is not recognized as revenue in our consolidated statements of operations in the year withdrawn, but it is considered deferred revenue and it increases cash flow from operations. The Withdrawable trust income is treated as a special item in our Non-GAAP presentation of net income and diluted earnings per share.
We are providing below a reconciliation of net income from continuing operations (a GAAP measure) to Non-GAAP net income (a non-GAAP measure). Non-GAAP net income is defined as net income from continuing operations, then adjusted for special items, including Withdrawable trust income, acquisition expenses and the other items in the table below. Non-GAAP net income is used as a supplemental financial measurement by management and investors to compare our current financial performance with our previous results and with the performance of other death care companies. The adjustment of special items in Non-GAAP income allows management to focus on the evaluation of operating performance as it primarily relates to our operating expenses. We do not intend for this information to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2011
 
2012
(In millions, except diluted EPS)
Net
Income
 
Diluted
EPS
 
Net
Income
 
Diluted
EPS
Net income from continuing operations, as reported
$
6.8

 
$
0.37

 
$
11.6

 
$
0.64

After-tax Special Items:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Withdrawable trust income
2.6

 
0.15

 
1.2

 
0.06

Additional interest and other costs of the Credit Facility
0.1

 
0.01

 
1.8

 
0.10

Acquisition expenses
0.7

 
0.04

 
0.8

 
0.04

Severance costs
1.1

 
0.06

 
0.5

 
0.03

Other professional fees
0.1

 
0.01

 

 

Non-recurring legal fees / settlements

 

 
0.1

 
0.01

Reduction of litigation reserve

 

 
(0.5
)
 
(0.03
)
Stock performance based incentive executive compensation
0.6

 
0.03

 

 

Gain on repurchase of convertible junior subordinated debentures
(0.5
)
 
(0.03
)
 

 

Securities transactions expenses
0.3

 
0.01

 

 

Non-GAAP net income including Special Items
$
11.8

 
$
0.65

 
$
15.5

 
$
0.85

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding (in thousands)
 
 
18,397

 
 
 
18,226


30

Table of Contents

Funeral Home Segment . The following table sets forth certain information regarding our revenues and operating profit from the funeral home operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012 .
 
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2011
 
2012
 
Amount
 
Percent
 
(dollars in thousands)
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating revenue
$
120,766

 
$
120,576

 
$
(190
)
 
(0.2
)%
Acquired operating revenue
14,210

 
25,802

 
11,592

 
81.6
 %
Preneed funeral insurance commissions
1,811

 
1,711

 
(100
)
 
(5.5
)%
Preneed funeral trust earnings
6,357

 
5,968

 
(389
)
 
(6.1
)%
Revenues from continuing operations
$
143,144

 
$
154,057

 
$
10,913

 
7.6
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating profit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating profit
$
43,288

 
$
46,231

 
$
2,943

 
6.8
 %
Acquired operating profit
3,681

 
8,339

 
4,658

 
126.5
 %
Preneed funeral insurance commissions
435

 
304

 
(131
)
 
(30.1
)%
Preneed funeral trust earnings
6,357

 
5,968

 
(389
)
 
(6.1
)%
Operating profit from continuing operations
$
53,761

 
$
60,842

 
$
7,081

 
13.2
 %


Funeral home same store operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 decreased $0.2 million, or 0.2% when compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 . We experienced a decline in the number of contracts year over year of 1.4% and the average revenue per contract for those existing operations increased $40 to $5,537. The average revenue per contract includes the impact of the funeral trust fund earnings recognized at the time that we provide the needed services for preneed families. Excluding funeral trust earnings, the average revenue per contract increased $65 to $5,297. The number of traditional burial contracts decreased 4.6% while the average revenue per burial contract increased 2.7% to $8,318. The cremation rate for the same store businesses rose from 42.7% to 44.5%. The average revenue per cremation contract increased 0.5% to $3,084, and the number of cremation contracts increased 2.6%. Cremations with services have declined from 39.0% of total cremation contracts in the year ended 2011 to 35.2% in the year ended 2012 . The average revenue for “other” contracts, which make up approximately 7.3% of the number of contracts, increased from $2,041 to $2,112. Other contracts consist of charges for merchandise or services for which we do not perform a funeral service for the deceased during the period.
Same store operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $2.9 million, or 6.8%, from the comparable year ended December 31, 2011 , and as a percentage of funeral same store operating revenue, increased from 35.8% to 38.3% as we have seen operating expenses decrease in the year ended December 31, 2012 . We have experienced decreases in most same store controllable expense categories, including $2.4 million in salaries, wages and benefit costs and $0.2 million in transportation costs for the year ended December 31, 2012 , when compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 . Our costs for the self insurance program for property, casualty and general liability risk also increased by approximately $0.3 million year over year.
Funeral home acquired revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $11.6 million, or 81.6%, when compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 , as we experienced a 52.6% increase in the number of contracts, due in large part to the acquisitions completed in 2012 and 2011 , and an increase of 18.9%, to $4,685, in the average revenue per contract for those acquired operations. Excluding funeral trust earnings, the average revenue per contract increased 19.0% year over year. The cremation rate for the acquired businesses was 52.1% for 2011, compared to 59.4% in the prior year. The average revenue per cremation contract increased 8.9% to $3,007 for 2012, and the number of cremation contracts increased 33.8% compared to 2011.
Acquired operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $4.7 million, or 126.5%, from the year ended December 31, 2011 and, as a percentage of revenue from acquired funeral homes, increased from 25.9% for 2011 to 32.3% for 2012 . As these acquired businesses transition into our Standard Operating Model, we expect to see operating profit margins rise toward those on a same store basis.

31

Table of Contents

The two categories of financial revenue, insurance commissions and trust earnings on matured preneed contracts, on a combined basis, decreased $0.5 million in both revenue and operating profit compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 , primarily due to a reduction in earned insurance commissions as we increased sales of preneed funeral trust contracts in 2012.
Cemetery Segment. The following table sets forth certain information regarding our revenues and operating profit from the cemetery operations for the year ended December 31, 2011 compared to the year ended December 31, 2012 :
 
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2011
 
2012
 
Amount
 
Percent
 
(dollars in thousands)
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating revenue
$
38,152

 
$
39,902

 
$
1,750

 
4.6
%
Acquired operating revenue

 
166

 
166

 
n/a

Cemetery trust earnings
5,041

 
8,506

 
3,465

 
68.7
%
Preneed cemetery finance charges
1,341

 
1,518

 
177

 
13.2
%
Revenues from continuing operations
$
44,534

 
$
50,092

 
$
5,558

 
12.5
%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating Profit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating profit
$
9,525

 
$
10,176

 
$
651

 
6.8
%
Acquired operating profit

 
(76
)
 
(76
)
 
n/a

Cemetery trust earnings
5,041

 
8,457

 
3,416

 
67.8
%
Preneed cemetery finance charges
1,341

 
1,518

 
177

 
13.2
%
Operating profit from continuing operations
$
15,907

 
$
20,075

 
$
4,168

 
26.2
%
Cemetery same store operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2012 , increased $1.8 million, or 4.6%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 . The revenue increase was attributable to same store revenue from preneed property sales, which increased $0.9 million, or 5.4%, due to a 0.7% increase in the number of interment rights (property) sold and a 6.2% increase in the average price per interment compared to 2011. Revenue from deliveries of preneed merchandise and services increased $0.2 million, or 3.6%. Same store at-need revenues increased $0.2 million, or 1.5%.
Cemetery same store operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2012 increased $0.6 million, or 6.8%. As a percentage of revenues, cemetery same store operating profit slightly increased from 25.0% to 25.5%, as a result of increased revenues. Promotional expenses (primarily preneed sales commissions) increased $0.9 million, preneed property costs increased $0.3 million and bad debts increased $0.3 million. These changes caused the preneed margin to decrease 380 basis points to 45.6%. Overall, controllable expenses such as salaries and benefits, transportation, and general and administrative costs decreased $0.2 million or 1.3% and the costs of the self insurance program for property, casualty and general liability risks increased $0.1 million, or 33.1%.
Cemetery acquired revenues and operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2012 is the result of an acquisition during the second quarter.
The two categories of financial revenue consist of trust earnings and finance charges on preneed receivables. Trust earnings increased $3.5 million, or 68.7%, when compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 . Earnings from perpetual care trust funds totaled $6.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 , compared to $3.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2011 , an increase of $3.0 million, or 82.9%. The increase in perpetual care trust earnings is due to higher interest income earned in 2012 compared to 2011. Trust earnings recognized upon the delivery of merchandise and service contracts increased $0.1 million, or 5.7% to $1.5 million, compared to the same period in 2011. Higher trust income and capital gains realized in recent years in the merchandise and services trusts have been allocated to the preneed contracts which are providing higher income to recognize upon delivery. Finance charges on the preneed contracts increased $0.2 million or 13.2% year over year due to the increase in overall preneed sales and preneed receivables.
Other . General and administrative expenses totaled $22.5 million for the year ended December 31, 2012 , an increase of $0.8 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2011 . We incurred $0.8 million of additional costs due to the expansion and upgrade of talent in our national cemetery and preneed organization and $2.4 million increase in incentive compensation costs. In 2011, we had $1.1 million of additional termination expenses in connection with the reorganization of management,

32

Table of Contents

$0.8 million of incentive compensation costs for a non-recurring performance based plan and $0.5 million related to a non-recurring securities transaction.
Interest income and other, net for the year ended December 31, 2012 is primarily a reduction in a litigation reserve that management believes future costs are immaterial.
Income taxes. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of the income taxes for 2012 and 2011 .
YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2011 COMPARED TO YEAR ENDED DECEMBER 31, 2010
The following is a discussion of our results of operations for the years ended December 31, 2011 and 2010 as it was presented on a historical basis at December 31, 2011. The term “same store” or “existing operations” refers to funeral homes and cemeteries acquired prior to January 1, 2006 and owned and operated for the entirety of each period presented. Funeral homes and cemeteries purchased after January 1, 2006 are referred to as “acquired.” This presentation of acquired operations included seven businesses acquired during 2007 and the presentation of same store operations included four businesses that were discontinued in 2012.
Total revenue for the year ended December 31, 2011 was $190.6 million, an increase of 3.1%, compared to $184.9 million for the comparable period in 2010 and gross profit increased by $4.9 million, or 10.2% from 2010 to 2011. Our acquired businesses drove the overall revenues higher, and both existing and acquired business contributed to the higher increase in gross profit in 2011 compared to 2010. Operating income declined by $1.1 million from 2010 to 2011 due to approximately $6.3 million in higher general and administrative expenses in 2011 compared to 2010. Net income for the year ended December 31, 2011 totaled $7.0 million, equal to $0.38 per diluted share as compared to $8.1 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, or $0.45 per diluted share.
Total funeral home and cemetery gross margin results improved in 2011 compared to 2010 as the gross profit margin rose to 27.4% in 2011 compared to 25.7% in 2010. The increased gross profit margin translated into gross profit of $52.3 million in 2011 compared to $47.4 million in 2010. The improvement was due primarily to lower costs and expenses.
The increase in gross profit in 2011 was more than offset by a $6.3 million increase in general and administrative expenses compared to 2010, the majority of which was due to the following items, which management describes as “Special Items” (dollars in millions):
 
Termination expenses related to a management restructuring
$
1.7

Stock-based performance plan that has been discontinued
1.1

Acquisition expenses
0.6

Debt offering costs
0.5

Professional fees related to a cemetery project
0.1

Total increase in Special Items
$
4.0

Had we not incurred these increases in Special Items, general and administrative expense would have increased by $2.3 million compared to 2010, and general and administrative expenses expressed as a percentage of revenue would have equaled 9.3%, comparable to 2010. While the increase in the Special Items may occur in the future, those categories of expenses were not significant in 2010. Adjusting operating income for the increases in the Special Items results in operating income increasing $2.9 million compared to 2010 and as a percentage of revenue would be 17.6%, 100 basis points higher than 2010. Adjusting diluted earnings per share for the increase in the Special Items results in the proforma equivalent of $0.51 for 2011, a 13.3% increase compared to $0.45 in diluted earnings per share for 2010.
Another source of increasing revenue and gross profit is the income recognized from the investments in the preneed funeral trust funds, the cemetery merchandise and services trust funds and the perpetual care trust funds. There was a major reallocation of investments that began in the latter half of 2008, which led to increasing revenue over the three year period ending December 31, 2011 because of substantially higher income from fixed income securities and from capital gains recognized in the portfolios. For the three year period ended December 31, 2011, the performance of the three funds, which includes realized income and unrealized appreciation, resulted in a 63.4% return. Investment income realized in the perpetual care trust funds (except for capital gains in certain states) is recognized as income when earned in the portfolio. Investment income realized in the preneed funeral trust funds and the cemetery merchandise and services trust funds are allocated to the individual preneed accounts and deferred from revenue until the time that the service and merchandise are delivered to the customer. Because higher income has accumulated in the preneed trust funds, management expects to see increasing revenue in

33

Table of Contents

the future as the preneed contracts are delivered. The increase in revenues from trust earnings from 2010 to 2011 totaled $0.6 million and the increase in revenues from trust earnings from 2009 to 2010 totaled $4.3 million.
The Withdrawable trust income totaled $4.5 million in 2011 and $3.4 million in 2010 as a result of realized fixed income and equity gains in 2010 and the first half of 2011. We are providing below a reconciliation of net income available to common stockholders (a GAAP measure) to Non-GAAP net income (a non-GAAP measure). There were no discontinued operations in 2011 and 2010. Non-GAAP net income is defined as net income from continuing operations, then adjusted for special items, including Withdrawable trust income, acquisition expenses and the other items in the table below. Non-GAAP net income is used as a supplemental financial measurement by management and investors to compare our current financial performance with our previous results and with the performance of other death care companies. The adjustment of special items in Non-GAAP income allows management to focus on the evaluation of operating performance as it primarily relates to our operating expenses. We do not intend for this information to be considered in isolation or as a substitute for other measures of performance prepared in accordance with GAAP.
 
 
Year Ended December 31,
 
2010
 
2011
(In millions, except diluted EPS)
Net
Income
 
Diluted
EPS
 
Net
Income
 
Diluted
EPS
Net income available to common stockholders, as reported
$
8.1

 
$
0.45

 
$
7.0

 
$
0.38

After-tax Special Items:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Withdrawable trust income
2.1

 
0.11

 
2.7

 
0.15

Stock performance based incentive executive compensation

 

 
0.6

 
0.03

Gain on repurchase of convertible junior subordinated debentures
(0.2
)
 
(0.01
)
 
(0.5
)
 
(0.03
)
Securities transactions expenses

 

 
0.3

 
0.01

Losses on early extinguishment of debt

 

 
0.1

 
0.01

Acquisition expenses
0.4

 
0.02

 
0.7

 
0.04

Termination expenses
0.1

 
0.01

 
1.2

 
0.06

Professional fees related to a cemetery project

 

 
0.1

 
0.01

Net gain on disposition of assets
(0.3
)
 
(0.02
)
 

 

Recovery of legal fees
(0.4
)
 
(0.02
)
 

 

Non-GAAP net income including Special Items
$
9.8

 
$
0.54

 
$
12.2

 
$
0.66

Diluted weighted average shares outstanding (in thousands)
 
 
17,938

 
 
 
18,397


34

Table of Contents

Funeral Home Segment . The following table sets forth certain information regarding our revenues and operating profit from the funeral home operations for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the year ended December 31, 2011.
 
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2010
 
2011
 
Amount
 
Percent
 
(dollars in thousands)
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating revenue
$
107,680

 
$
106,679

 
$
(1,001
)
 
(0.9
)%
Acquired operating revenue
22,063

 
30,307

 
8,244

 
37.4
 %
Preneed funeral insurance commissions
2,265

 
1,811

 
(454
)
 
(20.0
)%
Preneed funeral trust earnings
6,117

 
6,425

 
308

 
5.0
 %
Revenues from continuing operations
$
138,125

 
$
145,222

 
$
7,097

 
5.1
 %
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating profit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating profit
$
36,035

 
$
38,152

 
$
2,117

 
5.9
 %
Acquired operating profit
5,123

 
8,937

 
3,814

 
74.4
 %
Preneed funeral insurance commissions
876

 
434

 
(442
)
 
(50.5
)%
Preneed funeral trust earnings
6,117

 
6,425

 
308

 
5.0
 %
Operating profit from continuing operations
$
48,151

 
$
53,948

 
$
5,797

 
12.0
 %
Funeral home same store operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011 decreased $1.0 million, or 0.9% when compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. We experienced a decline in the number of contracts year over year of 1.3% and the average revenue per contract for those existing operations increased $2 to $5,596. The average revenue per contract includes the impact of the funeral trust fund earnings recognized at the time that we provide the needed services for preneed families. Excluding funeral trust earnings, the average revenue per contract increased $8 to $5,348. The number of traditional burial contracts decreased 3.8% while the average revenue per burial contract increased 1.8% to $8,240. The cremation rate for the same store businesses rose from 40.8% to 42.1%. The average revenue per cremation contract increased 0.2% to $3,091, and the number of cremation contracts increased 1.7%. Cremations with services have declined from 42.2% of total cremation contracts in the year ended 2010 to 37.4% in the year ended 2011. The average revenue for “other” contracts, which make up approximately 7.7% of the number of contracts, increased from $2,018 to $2,053. Other contracts consist of charges for merchandise or services for which we do not perform a funeral service for the deceased during the period.
Same store operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $2.1 million, or 5.9%, from the comparable year ended December 31, 2010, and as a percentage of funeral same store operating revenue, increased from 33.5% to 35.8% as we have seen operating expenses decrease in the year ended December 31, 2011. We have experienced decreases in most same store controllable expense categories, including $1.2 million in salaries, wages and benefit costs for the year ended December 31, 2011, when compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. Related to the decline in burial contracts of 390 contracts, we experienced a decline in merchandise costs, such as caskets, of approximately $0.8 million. Our costs for the self insurance program for property, casualty and general liability risk also decreased by approximately $0.6 million year over year.
Funeral home acquired revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $8.2 million, or 37.4%, when compared to the year ended December 31, 2010, as we experienced a 37.8% increase in the number of contracts, due in large part to the acquisitions completed in 2011 and 2010, and an increase of 0.9%, to $4,130, in the average revenue per contract for those acquired operations. Excluding funeral trust earnings, the average revenue per contract increased 0.6% year over year. The cremation rate for the acquired businesses was 57.4% for 2011, up from 56.1% in the prior year. The average revenue per cremation contract increased 7.1% to $2,638 for 2011, and the number of cremation contracts increased 40.9% compared to 2010.
Acquired operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $3.8 million, or 74.4%, from the year ended December 31, 2010 and, as a percentage of revenue from acquired funeral homes, increased from 23.2% for 2010 to 29.5% for 2011. As these acquired businesses transition into Carriage’s Standard Operating Model, we expect to see operating profit margins rise toward those on a same store basis.
The two categories of financial revenue, insurance commissions and trust earnings on matured preneed contracts, on a combined basis, decreased $0.1 million in both revenue and operating profit compared to the year ended December 31, 2010.

35

Table of Contents

Cemetery Segment. The following table sets forth certain information regarding our revenues and operating profit from the cemetery operations for the year ended December 31, 2010 compared to the year ended December 31, 2011:
 
 
Year Ended
December 31,
 
Change
 
2010
 
2011
 
Amount
 
Percent
 
(dollars in thousands)
Revenues:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating revenue
$
34,211

 
$
32,407

 
$
(1,804
)
 
(5.3
)%
Acquired operating revenue
6,239

 
6,574

 
335

 
5.4
 %
Cemetery trust earnings
4,815

 
5,073

 
258

 
5.4
 %
Preneed cemetery finance charges
1,557

 
1,360

 
(197
)
 
(12.6
)%
Revenues from continuing operations
$
46,822

 
$
45,414

 
$
(1,408
)
 
(3.0
)%
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Operating Profit:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Same store operating profit
$
7,340

 
$
7,603

 
$
263

 
3.6
 %
Acquired operating profit
1,707

 
1,944

 
237

 
13.9
 %
Cemetery trust earnings
4,815

 
5,073

 
258

 
5.4
 %
Preneed cemetery finance charges
1,557

 
1,360

 
(197
)
 
(12.6
)%
Operating profit from continuing operations
$
15,419

 
$
15,980

 
$
561

 
3.6
 %
Cemetery same store operating revenues for the year ended December 31, 2011, decreased $1.8 million, or 5.3%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. The revenue decline was attributable to same store revenue from preneed property sales, which decreased $1.9 million, or 12.1%, due to a 13.9% decrease in the number of interment rights (property) sold. We also experienced a 3.2% decrease in the average price per interment compared to 2010. Revenue from deliveries of preneed merchandise and services decreased $0.1 million, or 2.9%. Same store at-need revenues increased $0.2 million, or 1.5%.
Cemetery same store operating profit for the year ended December 31, 2011 increased $0.3 million, or 3.6%, even though we experienced declining revenue. As a percentage of revenues, cemetery same store operating profit increased from 21.4% to 23.5%. Promotional expenses (primarily preneed sales commissions) decreased $0.9 million and preneed property costs decreased $0.6 million, both in connection with the lower preneed sales volumes. These changes caused the preneed margin to increase 500 basis points to 48.6%. Bad debts decreased $0.4 million due to better management of receivables. Overall, controllable expenses such as salaries and benefits, transportation, and general and administrative costs declined $0.4 million, or 3.5%, and the costs of the self insurance program for property, casualty and general liability risks decreased $0.1 million, or 4.1%.
Cemetery acquired revenues for the year ended December 30, 2011 increased $0.3 million, or 5.4%, compared to the year ended December 31, 2010, due to revenue from preneed property sales which increased $0.3 million or 9.0%. Preneed revenue from merchandise and services deliveries and at-need revenues remained flat compared to the same period in 2010. As a percentage of revenues, cemetery acquired operating profit increased from 27.4% to 29.6% from the increase in preneed property sales.
The two categories of financial revenue consist of trust earnings and finance charges on preneed receivables. Trust earnings increased $0.3 million, or 5.4%, when compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. Earnings from perpetual care trust funds totaled $3.6 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, compared to $4.2 million for the year ended December 31, 2010, a decrease of $0.6 million, or 14.3%. The decrease in perpetual care trust earnings is due to significantly higher capital gains realized in 2010 compared to 2011. Trust earnings recognized upon the delivery of merchandise and service contracts increased $0.9 million, or 154.0% to $1.4 million, compared to the same period in 2010. Higher trust income and capital gains realized in recent years in the merchandise and services trusts have been allocated to the preneed contracts which are providing higher income to recognize upon delivery. Finance charges on the preneed contracts decreased $0.2 million or 12.6% year over year due to the decline in overall preneed sales and preneed receivables.
Other . General and administrative expenses totaled $21.7 million for the year ended December 31, 2011, an increase of $6.3 million compared to the year ended December 31, 2010. We incurred $1.9 million of termination expenses in 2011 in connection with the reorganization of management. We also incurred $1.3 million of additional costs due to the expansion and

36

Table of Contents

upgrade of talent in our regional operations organization and home office support departments. In 2011, we had $0.5 million of additional public company costs from increased director fees, audit fees and franchise taxes. We incurred an additional $1.6 million of incentive compensation costs for performance based plans and approximately $0.6 million of additional costs related to the closing of acquisitions. Offset in our 2010 general and administrative expenses is a $0.7 million credit for the recovery of legal fees from a previously settled lawsuit.
Interest income and other, net for the year ended December 31, 2011 is primarily gains on the repurchase of convertible junior subordinated debentures.
Income taxes. See Note 16 to the Consolidated Financial Statements for a discussion of the income taxes for 2011 and 2010.
LIQUIDITY AND CAPITAL RESOURCES
Overview
Our primary sources of liquidity and capital resources are internally generated cash flows from operating activities and availability under our Credit Facility. We generate cash in our operations primarily from at-need sales and delivery of preneed sales. We also generate cash from earnings on our cemetery perpetual care trusts. We believe that existing cash balances, future cash flows from operations and borrowing under our Credit Facility will be sufficient to meet our anticipated working capital requirements, capital expenditures, scheduled debt payments, commitments, dividend payments and acquisitions. Based on our recent operating results, current cash position, anticipated future cash flows and sources of financing that we expect to have available, we do not anticipate any significant liquidity constraints in the foreseeable future. However, if our capital expenditures or acquisition plans for 2013 change, we may need to access the capital markets to obtain additional funding. Further, to the extent operating cash flow or access to and cost of financing sources are materially different than expected, future liquidity may be adversely affected.
Cash Flows
We began 2012 with $1.1 million in cash and other liquid investments and ended the year with $1.7 million in cash and $44.7 million drawn on our revolving credit facility. The elements of cash flow for 2012 consisted of the following (in millions):
 
Cash at beginning of year
$
1.1

Cash flow from continuing operations
25.6

Cash provided by discontinuing operations
0.7

Cash used for business acquisitions
(42.7
)
Borrowings on our Credit Facility and payments on our long-term debt obligations, net
40.1

Cash used for dividends of common stock
(1.8
)
Cash used for repurchase of common stock
(4.5
)
Cash used for loan origination costs and call premium on our Senior Notes
(4.9
)
Cash used for maintenance capital expenditures
(5.0
)
Cash used for growth capital expenditures – funeral homes
(5.5
)
Cash used for growth capital expenditures – cemeteries
(2.3
)
Other investing and financing activities, net
0.9

Cash at end of year
$
1.7

The trends in cash provided by continuing operations have fluctuated over the last two years as we generated $25.7 million, $31.0 million and $25.6 million in 2010 , 2011 and 2012 , respectively. For 2013, we could potentially see a reduction in cash taxes based upon three applications for accounting method changes that were submitted to the Internal Revenue Service prior to December 31, 2012. Since approval has not yet been received, we cannot rely upon the benefit that could result. While there can be no guarantee that the accounting methods will be approved to the full extent applied for, the impact of changing accounting methods would be to reduce cash taxes over the next three years by as much as $21 million.
Annually, we spend approximately $10 - $15 million on capital expenditures and we plan to acquire funeral and cemetery businesses in 2013 and future years. We spent $19.0 million, $18.6 million and $42.7 million on acquisitions in 2010 , 2011 and 2012 , respectively. Our revolving credit facility provides us the flexibility to fund working capital, capital expenditures, acquisitions or capital needs.

37


Dividends
Our Board declared four quarterly dividends of $0.025 per share, totaling approximately $1.8 million , which were paid on March 1, 2012, June 1, 2012, September 1, 2012 and December 3, 2012 respectively, to record holders of our common stock as of February 13, 2012, May 15, 2012, August 17, 2012 and November 13, 2012 respectively. We have a dividend reinvestment program so that stockholders may elect to reinvest their dividends into additional shares of our common stock.
Debt Obligations
The outstanding principal of long-term debt at December 31, 2012 totaled $178.8 million and consisted of $127.5 million under our term loan, $44.7 million outstanding under our revolving credit facility and $6.6 million in acquisition indebtedness and capital lease obligations.
On August 30, 2012, we replaced our previous credit obligations with the Credit Facility, a new $235 million secured bank credit facility with Bank of America, N.A. as the Administrative Agent, comprised of a $105 million revolving credit facility and a $130 million term loan. The Credit Facility also contains an accordion provision to borrow up to an additional $40 million in our revolving credit facility. The Credit Facility refinanced our previous credit facility, paid other transaction related fees and expenses and will provide for future corporate needs. The proceeds of the term loan borrowings were used to redeem and replace the Senior Notes, our existing 7 7 / 8 % senior notes, which were scheduled to mature in 2015. The Credit Facility is set to mature on September 30, 2017 and is collateralized by all personal property and funeral home real property in certain states. We have the option to pay interest under the Credit Facility at either prime rate or LIBOR rate plus a margin. At December 31, 2012 , the prime rate margin was equivalent to 2.50% and the LIBOR margin was 3.50% . The weighted average interest rate on the Credit Facility at December 31, 2012 was 3.73%.
A total of $89.8 million was outstanding at December 31, 2012 under the convertible junior subordinated debenture. Amounts outstanding under the debenture are payable to our affiliate trust, Carriage Services Capital Trust (the “Trust”), bear interest at 7.0% and mature in 2029. Substantially all the assets of the Trust consist of the convertible junior subordinated debentures. In 1999, the Trust issued 1.875 million shares of 7% convertible preferred securities, termed “TIDES.” The rights under the debentures are functionally equivalent to those of the TIDES. For the year ended 2011, we repurchased 61,742 shares of these TIDES for approximately $2,241,000 and recorded a gain of $846,000. We converted these preferred shares at the current conversion rate of 2.4465 into shares of common stock equal to 151,052 shares, and immediately canceled the shares. No repurchases have been made in 2012.
The convertible junior subordinated debenture payable to the affiliated Trust, and the TIDES, each contain a provision for the deferral of interest payments and distributions for up to 20 consecutive quarters. During any period in which distribution payments are deferred, distributions will continue to accumulate at the 7% annual rate. Also, the deferred distributions themselves accumulate distributions at the annual rate of 7%. During any deferral period, we are prohibited from paying dividends on common stock or repurchasing common stock, subject to limited exceptions. We currently expect to continue paying the distributions as due.
We were in compliance with the covenants contained in the Credit Facility as of December 31, 2012 . Key ratios that we must comply with include a Total Debt to EBITDA ratio that as of the last day of each quarter must not be greater than 3.75 to 1.00 and a fixed charge coverage ratio that must not be less than 1.20 to 1.00. As of December 31, 2012 , the leverage ratio was 3.06 to 1.00 and the fixed charge coverage ratio was 2.62 to 1.00.
In May 2012, our Board approved an increase to the share repurchase program authorizing the Company to purchase an additional $3 million of our common stock up to an aggregate of $8 million. Through December 31, 2012 , we spent $5.2 million buying back our common stock under this plan.
We intend to use cash on hand our Credit Facility primarily to acquire funeral home and cemetery businesses and for internal growth projects, such as cemetery inventory development. We have the ability to draw on our revolving credit facility, subject to customary terms and conditions of the credit agreement. We believe our cash on hand, cash flow from operations, and the available capacity under our revolving credit facility described above will be adequate to meet our working capital needs and other financial obligations over the next twelve months.

38


CONTRACTUAL OBLIGATIONS
The following table summarizes the known future payments required for the debt on our balance sheet as of December 31, 2012 . Where appropriate we have indicated the footnote to our annual Consolidated Financial Statements where additional information is available.
 
 
 
 
 Payments Due By Period
(in millions)
   
Financial Note
Reference
 
Total
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
After
5 Years
Long-term debt obligations
13
 
$
174.6

 
$
11.1

 
$
13.2

 
$
16.6

 
$
20.2

 
$
112.9

 
$
0.6

Capital lease obligations, including interest
15
 
7.1

 
0.4

 
0.5

 
0.5

 
0.5

 
0.5

 
4.7

Convertible junior subordinated debenture (a)
14
 
89.8

 

 

 

 

 

 
89.8

Total contractual obligations
 
 
$
271.5

 
$
11.5

 
$
13.7

 
$
17.1

 
$
20.7

 
$
113.4

 
$
95.1

 
(a)
Matures in 2029
OFF-BALANCE SHEET ARRANGEMENTS
The following table summarizes our off-balance sheet arrangements as of December 31, 2012 . Where appropriate we have indicated the footnote to our Consolidated Financial Statements where additional information is available. The interest payments on long-term debt are related to the long-term debt obligations in the table above. All other off-balance sheet arrangements relate to the agreements with our employees, our executive officers, and former owners.
 
 
 
 Payments Due By Period
(in millions)
   
Financial Note
Reference
 
Total
 
2013
 
2014
 
2015
 
2016
 
2017
 
After
5 Years
Operating leases
15
 
$
19.4

 
$
4.1

 
$
3.7

 
$
2.8

 
$
2.0

 
$
1.9

 
$
4.9

Interest payments on long-term debt
 
 
133.4

 
13.0

 
12.5

 
12.0

 
11.3

 
10.0

 
74.6

Noncompete agreements
15
 
6.8

 
1.4

 
1.4

 
1.2

 
1.0

 
0.6

 
1.2

Consulting agreements
15
 
2.7

 
1.0

 
0.7

 
0.5

 
0.3

 
0.1

 
0.1

Executive management compensation agreements
15
 
4.4

 
1.7

 
1.3

 
1.2

 
0.2

 

 

Total contractual cash obligations
 
 
$
166.7

 
$
21.2

 
$
19.6

 
$
17.7

 
$
14.8

 
$
12.6

 
$
80.8