|Service Corporation International Announces Suspension of Quarterly Cash Dividends|
HOUSTON, Oct. 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Service Corporation International (NYSE: SRV), the world's largest funeral and cemetery company, today announced the suspension of regular quarterly cash dividends on its outstanding common stock. The cash dividend previously declared on August 12, 1999 of $.09 per share of common stock will be paid on October 29, 1999 to shareholders of record at the close of business on October 15, 1999.
Commenting on the suspension of regular quarterly cash dividends, SCI Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, George R. Champagne, said: "The Company announced on October 1, 1999 several strategic cash flow initiatives designed to enhance long-term shareholder value through the improvement of cash flow allowing the Company to reduce its current leverage through the reduction of existing debt. The Board of Directors and Senior Management of the Company believe the suspension of the regular quarterly cash dividend is a significant demonstration of the Company's commitment to pursue this strategy."
After payment of the quarterly cash dividend on October 29, 1999, the Company will have paid approximately $96.8 million in cash dividends during calendar year 1999.
SCI Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President, Robert L. Waltrip, added: "Our Company has spent several decades achieving the number one position in our industry. We now intend to grow our Company internally by capitalizing on our unparalleled existing distribution network. Strengthening our balance sheet is one of the important initiatives our Company will be undertaking to achieve this important goal."
As of June 30, 1999, SCI affiliates operated 3,824 funeral service locations, 520 cemeteries and 198 crematoria. SCI provides funeral and cemetery services in 20 countries on five continents.
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