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H&R Block Announces Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results, Reiterates Financial Outlook for Fiscal Year

7 min read

7 min read

March 07, 2019

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) today released its U.S. tax return volume through February 28, 2019 and financial results for the fiscal 2019 third quarter ended January 31, 2019. The company normally reports a fiscal third quarter loss due to the seasonality of its tax business.

Tax Season and Fiscal Third Quarter Highlights1

  • Delay in tax returns filed industry wide impacted fiscal third quarter results; company reiterates its financial outlook for the full fiscal year.
  • H&R Block total U.S. returns declined through February 28, as growth in DIY returns was offset by a decline in Assisted returns; the decline in Assisted returns was anticipated due to the discontinuation of the Free Federal 1040EZ promotion.
  • Revenues for the fiscal third quarter ended January 31, 2019 decreased $20 million, or 4 percent, to $468 million primarily due to a delay in overall industry filings.
  • Pretax loss from continuing operations increased 31 percent to $159 million; however, loss per share from continuing operations2 improved from $1.16 to $0.58 due to the impact of corporate tax rate changes in the prior year.

Tax Season Results3

H&R Block total U.S. return volume decreased 1.2% through February 28, as an increase in DIY returns of 6.4% was offset by a 6.5% decrease in Assisted returns. On a comparable basis with the most recent IRS data for this tax season, the company grew market share in DIY due to product enhancements and improved conversion. In Assisted, when comparing to the most recent IRS data for this tax season, the business was down modestly in market share, which was expected due to the discontinuation of its Free Federal 1040EZ promotion.

“The significant improvements we’ve made across our business have resulted in increased client satisfaction scores related to our new upfront and transparent pricing, third party accolades for our DIY products, and growth in our virtual offerings so far this tax season,” said Jeff Jones, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. “H&R Block is leading the way in the tax industry with offerings that span the full spectrum of tax preparation, whether clients want little to no help, complete in-person assistance, or anything in between.”

Fiscal 2019 Third Quarter Results From Continuing Operations

“The slow start to the tax season for the industry impacted the timing of our business, lowering financial results for our fiscal third quarter,” said Tony Bowen, H&R Block’s chief financial officer. “We remain on track with our strategic and operational plans and expect to achieve our financial outlook for the fiscal year.”

Key Financial Metrics

  • Total revenues decreased $20.0 million, or 4.1 percent, to $468.4 million primarily due to lower Assisted tax preparation revenues and royalties as a result of the delay in overall filings with the IRS.
  • Total operating expenses increased $20.8 million, or 3.5 percent, to $606.5 million primarily due to technology spend related to long-term initiatives and marketing, bad debt, and supplies expense.
  • Pretax loss increased $37.9 million, or 31.3 percent, to $158.7 million.
  • Loss per share from continuing operations improved from $1.16 to $0.58, due to the impact of corporate tax rate changes in the prior year. These changes resulted in an income tax expense in the third quarter of fiscal 2018, as opposed to an income tax benefit, which is customary in fiscal quarters in which the company has a seasonal pretax loss.


As previously announced, a quarterly cash dividend of $0.25 per share is payable on April 1, 2019 to shareholders of record as of March 18, 2019. H&R Block has paid quarterly dividends consecutively since the company went public in 1962.

Discontinued Operations

For information on Sand Canyon, please refer to disclosures in the company’s reports on Forms 10-K, 10-Q, and other filings with the SEC.

All amounts in this release are unaudited. Unless otherwise noted, all comparisons refer to the current period compared to the corresponding prior year period.
2 All per share amounts are based on fully diluted shares at the end of the corresponding period.
3 Volume changes to prior year noted in this paragraph and in the table attached to this release are based on a date-to-date basis. Comparisons to IRS data are on a day-to-day basis as of February 22, 2019.
4 The company reports non-GAAP financial measures of performance, including earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortization (EBITDA) from continuing operations, EBITDA margin from continuing operations, and free cash flow which it considers to be useful metrics for management and investors to evaluate and compare the ongoing operating performance of the company. See “About Non-GAAP Financial Information” below for more information regarding financial measures not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

Conference Call

Discussion of the fiscal 2019 third quarter results, outlook, and a general business update will occur during the company’s previously announced fiscal third quarter earnings conference call for analysts, institutional investors, and shareholders. The call is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Eastern time on March 7, 2019. To access the call, please dial the number below approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time:

U.S./Canada (855) 702-5257 or International (213) 358-0868

Conference ID: 5364734

The call, along with a presentation for viewing, will also be webcast in a listen-only format for the media and public. The link to the webcast can be accessed directly at investors.hrblock.com. The presentation will be posted on the Webcasts and Presentations page at investors.hrblock.com following the conclusion of the call.

A replay of the call will be available beginning at 11:30 a.m. Eastern time on March 7, 2019, and continuing until April 7, 2019, by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S./Canada) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID is 5364734. The webcast will be available for replay beginning on March 8, 2019 and continuing for 90 days at investors.hrblock.com.

About H&R Block

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is a global consumer tax services provider. Tax return preparation services are provided by professional tax preparers in approximately 12,000 company-owned and franchise retail tax offices worldwide, and through H&R Block tax software products for the DIY consumer. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. In fiscal 2018, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3.1 billion with over 23 million tax returns prepared worldwide. For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom.

About Non-GAAP Financial Information

This press release and the accompanying tables include non-GAAP financial information. For a description of these non-GAAP financial measures, including the reasons management uses each measure, and reconciliations of these non-GAAP financial measures to the most directly comparable financial measures prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles, please see the section of the accompanying tables titled “Non-GAAP Financial Information.”

Forward-Looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of the securities laws. Forward-looking statements can be identified by the fact that they do not relate strictly to historical or current facts. They often include words or variation of words such as “expects,” “anticipates,” “intends,” “plans,” “believes,” “commits,” “seeks,” “estimates,” “projects,” “forecasts,” “targets,” “would,” “will,” “should,” “goal,” “could” or “may” or other similar expressions. Forward-looking statements provide management’s current expectations or predictions of future conditions, events or results. All statements that address operating performance, events or developments that we expect or anticipate will occur in the future are forward-looking statements. They may include estimates of revenues, client trajectory, income, effective tax rate, earnings per share, cost savings, capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases, liquidity, capital structure, market share, industry volumes or other financial items, descriptions of management’s plans or objectives for future operations, products or services, or descriptions of assumptions underlying any of the above. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the date they are made and reflect the company’s good faith beliefs, assumptions and expectations, but they are not guarantees of future performance or events. Furthermore, the company disclaims any obligation to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statement to reflect changes in underlying assumptions, factors, or expectations, new information, data or methods, future events or other changes, except as required by law. By their nature, forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those suggested by the forward-looking statements. Factors that might cause such differences include, but are not limited to a variety of economic, competitive and regulatory factors, many of which are beyond the company’s control, that are described in our Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2018 in the section entitled “Risk Factors” and additional factors we may describe from time to time in other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. You may get such filings for free at our website at http://investors.hrblock.com. In addition, factors that may cause the company’s actual estimated effective tax rate to differ from estimates include the company’s actual results from operations compared to current estimates, future discrete items, changes in interpretations and assumptions the company has made, and future actions of the company. You should understand that it is not possible to predict or identify all such factors and, consequently, you should not consider any such list to be a complete set of all potential risks or uncertainties.

For Further Information

Investor Relations:          Colby Brown, (816) 854-4559, colby.brown@hrblock.com
Media Relations:             Susan Waldron, (816) 854-5522, susan.waldron@hrblock.com

Full release with tables (download)