H&R Block, Inc. | $HRB Stock | Shares Plunge After Q4 Earnings Results

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H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) 

Shares of H&R Block crashed before markets opened on Wednesday, after the company reported fourth quarter earnings for fiscal 2018.

The tax-preparation company also lifted its dividend by 4 percent as its results easily edged above Wall Street expectations.

However, the firm appeared to have angered investors after saying it expects a revenue decline in fiscal 2019 as it embarks on key strategic investments aimed at expanding its client base. HRB stock was trading at $23.72 down $5.81, or 19.63% at 8:35 A.M.

HRB Earnings & Outlook

H&R Block Stock Chart

The company reported a net income of $1.14 billion, or $5.45 per share for the quarter. In the same period last year, the company posted a net income of $783 million, or $3.77 per share. Revenue came in at $2.39 billion, compared to last year’s figure of $2.33 billion.

Analysts expected earnings of $5.23 per share and sales of $2.34 billion, according to Thompson Reuters.  H&R Block and its subsidiaries prepared a total of 20 million tax returns in the U.S., representing an increase of 2.5% from the previous year.

The tax-preparation company also announced it will increase its dividend by 4% to $0.25 a share, payable to shareholders of record on July 2. 

H&R Block Executive Comments

H&R Block chief executive officer Jeff Jones said, “We achieved our goal of improving the client trajectory and delivered positive financial results for the fiscal year. We’re also making progress on our multi-year strategic framework.  As we look ahead to fiscal 2019, we will make strategic investments to enhance the relevance of our brand, strengthen technology platforms, and improve the fundamental value clients receive from H&R Block.  I’m excited about the future and look forward to sharing more about our plans on our investor call this afternoon.”

The company’s chief financial officer, Tony Bowen also made the following statement: “We are pleased with our financial performance this year, with revenue growth, strong margins, and improved earnings. Our improved results, along with our strong balance sheet and cash position, provide a solid foundation as we invest in our strategic evolution.

H&R Block, Inc. Company Profile

H&R Block, Inc. engages in the provision of tax preparation, digital do-it-yourself tax services, and other products and services centered on tax return preparation to the public. The company mainly operates in the U.S., Australia, and Canada.

It offers assisted tax preparation and other services through a system of company-operated retail offices or franchisees.

It also markets and develops do-it-yourself tax preparation software, and offers do-it-yourself tax services, including giving tax-related advice, news, and tips.

The company also offers professional tax review services, including electronic filing and error checking. Further, it creates and provides mobile applications tax preparation assistance.

H&R Block also offers Tax Identity Shield, refund transfers, refund advance loans, H&R Block Emerald Prepaid MasterCard, Instant Cash Back refund option, H&R Peace of Mind Extended Service Plan, and H&R Block Emerald Advance lines of credit.

The company was founded in 1955 by Richard L. Bloch and Henry WLo. Bloch. Its headquarters are located in Kansas City, Missouri. – Reuters