Banking & Finance

Why H&R Block's Q3 Was So Underwhelming

When H&R Block Inc. (NYSE: HRB) released its fiscal third-quarter financial results after the markets closed on Thursday, the firm said that it had a net loss of $0.59 per share and $519.2 million in revenue. That compared with consensus estimates of $0.55 in earnings per share and $485.6 million in revenue, as well as the $0.52 per share in earnings on revenue of $468.4 million posted in the same period of last year.

Overall, revenues increased 11% year over year due to improved tax return volumes in both Assisted and DIY, as well as revenues from acquired franchises and Wave.

The board previously announced that a quarterly cash dividend of $0.26 per share is payable on April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 17.

During the most recent quarter, the company repurchased 2.8 million shares at an aggregate price of $66 million, bringing total repurchases for the year to 10.1 million shares at an aggregate price of $247 million.

The company did not issue any guidance in the report. However, consensus estimates call for $4.55 in earnings per share (EPS) and $2.37 billion in revenue for the fiscal fourth quarter.

Jeff Jones, H&R Block’s president and CEO, commented:

We’re making progress on our strategy to transform our business by connecting human expertise with technology to drive transparency and value for consumers and small business owners. We’re seeing the positive results of these efforts in our Assisted business and will apply learnings from the first half to deliver on our outlook for the fiscal year.

H&R Block stock traded down almost 9% at $19.00 early Thursday. The 52-week range now is $17.61 to $29.62. The consensus price target is $24.33.

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