Alter Ego Alert: H&R Block With Wal-Mart (HRB, WMT, INTU)

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H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) comes under fire from time to time, and this morning may be an image-changing announcement.  The tax preparation service provider is going to start providing tax preparation services in approximately 300 Wal-Mart locations for Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (NYSE: WMT).

The pact is only a month out as the plan calls for these services at Kiosks starting in December.  What will seem ironic is that H&R Block noted some 11,000 offices in its press release, so this will not even add 3% to the total locations. 

Some expansion moves make sense.  This might be a good way for H&R Block to get its name out there in more locations and to recruit new clients, but a professional and financial services firm is taking a risk by going inside Wal-Mart.  If Wal-Mart’s current labor criticisms grow then the companies doing business with Wal-Mart will start to come under fire as well.

Intuit Inc. (NASDAQ: INTU) currently sells its TurboTax, Quicken, and QuickBooks software packages at Wal-Mart.  It would be unlikely for that to end.

Hopefully Wal-Mart won’t open up kiosks for divorce and personal injury lawyers as well.

JON C. OGG

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