Great news for the living! Funeral home operator Alderwoods Group
There is quite a bit more to like about Alderwoods, once you get beyond the notion of buying into the death industry. Sure, it gives me the heebie-jeebies to read things in an earnings press release like "our results were also impacted by a very strong flu season in December 2003 which did not reoccur in 2004." But if you're not going to give Alderwoods a break because it's a job that somebody's got to do, take a peek at the numbers.
Alderwoods is profitable. It earned $0.23 a share last year on $717 million in revenue. Since being singled out in our Motley Fool Hidden Gems newsletter back in October 2003, the stock has risen 68%.
There's also a transformation taking place at Alderwoods -- and it's not as creepy as you might think. The company has been selling off some of its funeral parlors and cemeteries and using the proceeds to pay down its debt. That's a dramatic improvement from the debt-heavy Alderwoods that eventually turned to bankruptcy as the cruelest of all exit strategies.
Second only to Service Corp. International
While funeral providers don't seem to get a whole lot of love from Wall Street -- rivals Carriage Services
Some recently departed headlines:
- Alderwoods unearthed a solid third quarter as well.
- Check out some of the other winners in our Hidden Gems newsletter service.
- Death isn't the only way to Rule Your Retirement.
Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz knows that death is inevitable, but he does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.