Funeral services company Stewart Enterprises Inc's third-quarter profit fell short of market estimates as expense reductions only partially offset a decrease in cemetery property sales and fewer deaths in its markets.

For the quarter ended July 31, the New Orleans-based company posted a net profit of $10.8 million, or 12 cents a share, compared with $9.1 million, or 10 cents a share, last year.

Excluding items, the company earned 5 cents a share.

Three analysts on average were expecting the company to earn 8 cents a share, before items, according to Reuters Estimates.

Total revenue at the company fell 9.7 percent to $117.8 million.

Revenue from the company's cemetery segment dropped 16 percent, primarily due to a decrease in cemetery property sales.

Shares of the company closed at $5.30 Wednesday on Nasdaq. (Reporting by Abhishek Takle in Bangalore; Editing by Aradhana Aravindan)