H&R Block's Loss Widens Slightly

Dow Jones Newswires

H&R Block Inc. (NYSE:HRB) said its fiscal first-quarter loss widened slightly after a smaller tax benefit and losses at discontinued operations, while the tax-services provider's revenue benefited from a five-day extension of Canada's tax season.

For the period ended July 31, H&R Block reported a loss of $116.2 million, compared with a year-earlier loss of $115.2 million. On a per-share basis, the loss was unchanged at 42 cents after an increase in shares outstanding. The latest period included a per-share loss of two cents from discontinued operations. Adjusted earnings from continuing operations were flat at 40 cents.

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Revenue increased 5% to $133.6 million, mostly owing to an extension of the Canadian tax filing season.

Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected a per-share loss of 40 cents and revenue of $130 million.

H&R Block reported a tax benefit of $70 million in the latest period, while the year-earlier tax benefit was $71.2 million.

The company, which generates a bulk of its revenue in the back half of the fiscal year when the U.S. tax season occurs, has renewed its focus on its tax-preparation business after shedding its brokerage and mortgage-lending operations.

In April, H&R Block agreed to sell its bank business to a unit of BofI Holding Inc., which will take the tax-preparation company out of a sector that has been hit by increasing regulation.