H&R Block Q4 Net Rises, but Misses Estimates


H&R Block results for fiscal Q4 and 2013 that were released this week show that for the quarter, revenue was just over $2.20 billion, up from the $2.00 billion in the same period the previous year. Net income also saw a rise, advancing to $664 million ($2.42 per diluted share) from Q4 2012's $586 million ($1.99).

The improved results are in spite of what the firm characterized as "unprecedented changes" in the latest tax season. These include delays in the seasonal launch of the IRS' online tax filing system, and heightened fraud controls that affected numerous forms. The company estimates there was a slight drop in total filings compared to the previous tax season, but says it "maintained its share of total U.S. returns."

The Q4 numbers weren't good enough to beat analyst expectations. On average, prognostications were for a top line of $2.28 billion and EPS of $2.61.

For the full year, the top line was $2.91 billion, which edged out the 2012 figure of $2.89 billion. Net profit was significantly higher, landing at $434 million ($1.58 per diluted share) for the year against 2012's $266 million ($0.89).

H&R Block also reiterated that it will pay a $0.20-per-share quarterly dividend on July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 17. That payout annualizes to $0.80, yielding 2.8% at the firm's current share price of $28.95.

The company also said that during fiscal 2013, it repurchased and retired 21.3 million shares at an aggregate price of $315.0 million, or $14.82 per share, representing about an 8% reduction in shares outstanding.


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