updated 9/22/2010 8:46:31 AM ET 2010-09-22T12:46:31

NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 22, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Stewart Enterprises, Inc. (Nasdaq:STEI) announced today that the Company plans to resume purchases of its Class A common stock pursuant to its previously established stock repurchase program. The stock repurchase program was originally authorized in September 2007, subsequently expanded in December 2007 and June 2008, and permits the Company to spend up to $75.0 million to repurchase shares of its Class A common stock. As of July 31, 2010, $26.5 million remained available under the program. Open market purchases under the program were last made during the third fiscal quarter of 2008.

Thomas J. Crawford, Chief Executive Officer and President of the Company, said, "The Company continues to generate substantial operating cash flow. At current market price levels, we believe repurchases of the Company's stock offer an attractive opportunity to utilize our capital and enhance shareholder value."

Repurchases may be effected through open market purchases or in privately negotiated transactions at such times and in such amounts as management deems appropriate, depending on market conditions and other factors. The Company intends to use its available cash to fund share repurchases. The repurchase program does not obligate the Company to acquire any specific number of shares and may be suspended or terminated at any time.

Founded in 1910, Stewart Enterprises, Inc. is the second largest provider of products and services in the death care industry in the United States. The Company currently owns and operates 218 funeral homes and 140 cemeteries in the United States and Puerto Rico. Through its subsidiaries, the Company provides a complete range of funeral and cremation merchandise and services, along with cemetery property, merchandise and services, both at the time of need and on a preneed basis.

The Stewart Enterprises, Inc. logo is available at http://www.globenewswire.com/newsroom/prs/?pkgid=4456

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