H&R Block Sinks Despite Beating Estimates

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When H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) reported its fiscal second-quarter financial results late Wednesday, the company posted a net loss of $0.67 per share and $131.3 million in revenue. The consensus estimates from Thomson Reuters had called for a $0.68 per-share net loss and revenue of $126.93 million. The same period of last year reportedly had −$0.51 per share and $128.41 million.

During this quarter, the company repurchased roughly 7.6 million shares, for an aggregate purchase price of $168 million, bringing total share repurchases for fiscal 2017 to 9.6 million shares.

Total operating expenses decreased $22.9 million from last year to $339.4 million. Contributing to the decline were the prior year’s one-time costs associated with the divestiture of H&R Block Bank and related capital structure transactions.

Interest expense for the quarter increased $8.4 million to $22.6 million, primarily due to $1 billion of long-term debt issued in September 2015.

H&R Block’s cash and cash equivalents (including restricted) totaled $342.0 million at the end of the quarter, versus $403.5 million at the end of the same period from last year.

Bill Cobb, H&R Block’s president and CEO, commented:

I’m pleased with our second quarter results, as revenues were up and expenses were down. I’m also extremely excited for the upcoming tax season. We have been hard at work developing and implementing a comprehensive and aggressive plan designed to deliver stronger results in tax season 2017. Our associates and franchisees are excited about our new promotional offerings, including the previously announced interest-free Refund Advance loan and planned changes to our service delivery models. We are ready for the tax season to begin.

Shares of H&R Block were last seen down 5.6% at $22.02, with a consensus analyst price target of $25.22 and a 52-week trading range of $19.18 to $35.14.