H&R Block shares sank nearly 5% on Thursday after the company reported a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and lower revenue. The tax preparer said it lost $79 million, or 34 cents a share, in the fiscal third quarter, from a loss of $35 million, or 13 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Revenue for the quarter was down by $34.5 million to $474.5 million on lower client volumes in its U.S. offices, the sale of H&R Block Bank, and currency fluctuations, partly offset by increased pricing. Analysts polled by FactSet had expected the tax preparer to report a loss of 24 cents a share on sales of $502 million. "This tax season has been marked by the continued impact of fraud on the industry, the continuing trend of taxpayers filing their returns later in the season and tax refunds taking longer to process," said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer.
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