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Noplat

In: Business and Management

Submitted By NOPLAT
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Pages 4
Case Analysis: Loewen 1. Loewen was able to grow between 1990 and 1995 through pre-need sales, or sales of cemetery plots for future use. While the pre-arranged funeral service revenues could not be recognized immediately, revenues from the pre-sale of cemetery plots could be. With the Baby-Boomer generation aging into their 50s and 60s, this market represented the major source of growth in the early 1990s. We do not believe Loewen created value with this source of revenue as it was simply benefitting from these customers earlier than otherwise would have been expected.(What about investment income on Cash in Advance?). We feel that pre-selling the cemetery plots only served to steal from revenues that would have normally been expected in the future (may need to add quantitative analysis here).

2. Financial comparison between Loewen and SCI from 1996 to 1998: a. Gross Margin – While SCI enjoyed stable gross margins ranging from 31.08% to 30.58% from the period of 1996 to 1998, while Loewen’s gross margins over the same period declined from 36.54% to 25.68%, reduction to GM of 29.72% (see Financial Comparison Table below). Both companies shared the strategy of growing through acquisition, however SCI focused more on owning acquisitions outright and seemed to realize operational efficiencies and shared fixed costs demonstrated by their consistent GM. Loewen took a less invasive approach and almost requiring original management to remain in place for certain time period post acquisition and did not benefit as much as SCI from any economies of scale. Another key factor contributing to the gross margin variance is the strong focus SCI took on marketing toward higher front end margin Pre-Need business capturing $3.70B (7.40% to 18.5% Market Share) versus Loewen’s $0.41B (0.82% to 2.05% Market Share) by the end of 1998. (see Financial Comparison Table…...

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