H&R Block Announces Fiscal 2016 Results and Dividend Increase
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB), the world’s largest consumer tax services provider, today released its financial results for the fiscal year ended April 30, 2016. Total revenues decreased $40.5 million, or 1.3%, to just over $3.0 billion, primarily due to lower worldwide client volumes of 4.1%, and the impacts of the divestiture of H&R Block Bank and foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations. This was partially offset by increased pricing and improved form mix in both the assisted and DIY channels as well as improved monetization in DIY. Excluding the impact of the bank divestiture and foreign exchange, total revenues would have increased 0.5%. The company’s net income totaled $374.3 million and adjusted EBITDA from continuing operations was $838.7 million. The company’s adjusted EBITDA margin from continuing operations was 28%. GAAP earnings per share from continuing operations declined $0.22 to $1.53.
“As I said in April, this season’s results are not acceptable,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. “We are ready to move on. Going forward, we are committed to arresting the client decline and ultimately achieving client growth. We are developing aggressive plans for tax season 2017 that we believe will enable us to achieve this objective.”
The company is making strategic changes which it believes will yield positive results in the short- and long-term. Specifically, the company is investing in initiatives aimed at driving client volumes for fiscal year 2017. Such initiatives will be funded through the Company’s previously announced cost reduction efforts. Long term, the company is developing innovative solutions designed to enhance the client experience, regardless of how the client chooses to be served.
“I’m excited about the future for this company and the plans we are working on for next tax season,” said Cobb. “These plans will challenge us to think differently about certain parts of our business, while building on those areas of the business in which we were successful, such as pricing, mix, improved product attach levels, and the successful launch of our new Block Advisors brand. And having divested H&R Block Bank, we’ll execute against those plans with the right capital structure, which reflects the repurchase of 20.5% of our outstanding shares during fiscal 2016 and the 10% increase in our quarterly dividend.”
“Strong cash flow, healthy margins and a history of returning capital to shareholders continue to be the foundation of our operating model and capital strategy,” stated Tony Bowen, H&R Block’s chief financial officer. “We are confident about the future of H&R Block, which is demonstrated through the repurchase of $2 billion of shares during fiscal year 2016, and our commitment to an annual dividend review announced today.”
Revenues decreased 1.3% to just over $3.0 billion, due primarily to lower tax return volumes, the impact of the divestiture of H&R Block Bank, and the impact of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations.These decreases were partially offset by improved price and form mix in both the U.S. assisted and DIY categories, revenues from acquisitions of franchisees and independent tax preparation businesses, and improved monetization in DIY.
Total operating expenses increased $121.0 million, or 5.3%. The increase was mainly due to occupancy costs and amortization expense which increased as a result of acquisitions of franchisees and independent tax preparation businesses, increased marketing expenses, and fees related to the divestiture of H&R Block Bank and capital structure changes. These increases were partially offset by decreases in compensation and benefits, primarily related to the decrease in tax return volume.
Other income increased $16.4 million primarily as a result of financial reporting changes related to the divestiture of H&R Block Bank.
Interest expense increased $23.7 million from the prior year due to the issuance of $1 billion of long-term debt in September 2015 and increased borrowings under the company’s line of credit.
Pretax income decreased 23.3% to $569.5 million.
Cash balances decreased $1.1 billion from the prior year mainly due to the net cash payment to the company’s bank partner for the transfer of deposit liabilities related to the divestiture of H&R Block Bank and the net impact of capital structure changes, including share repurchases.
Upon divestiture of H&R Block Bank in the second quarter of fiscal 2016, available for sale securities, previously held to meet bank regulatory requirements, were liquidated for approximately $388 million.Additionally, certain liabilities, including all customer banking deposits, were transferred to the company’s bank partner.
Long-term debt increased $1 billion from April 30, 2015 due to the issuance of $650 million of 4.125% Senior Notes due 2020 and $350 million of 5.250% Senior Notes due 2025. As of April 30, 2016, the company did not have an outstanding balance on its line of credit.
Stockholders’ equity was reduced by repurchases and subsequent retirements of 56.4 million shares of common stock, representing 20.5% of outstanding shares, during the fiscal year for $2.0 billion.
Details regarding the bank divestiture and related agreements, capital structure transactions and share repurchase program can be found in previously issued press releases, as well as Forms 10-Q and 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, during fiscal 2016.
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016, the company repurchased and retired approximately 3.9 million shares at an aggregate amount of $108.4 million, or $27.80 per share. As of April 30, 2016, 220.5 million shares were outstanding.
The company completed these share repurchases under a $3.5 billion share repurchase program approved by the company’s board of directors in August 2015. Under this program, the company has repurchased approximately 56.4 million shares of its common stock, or 20.5% of outstanding shares, for an aggregate purchase amount of $2.0 billion.
The Company announced that the board of directors approved an increase in its quarterly dividend of 10%, to $0.22 per share. Going forward, the company is committed to an annual review of its dividend following the end of each fiscal year. Future actions regarding dividends will be dependent upon the board’s approval following consideration of operating results, market conditions, and capital needs, among other factors.
A quarterly cash dividend of $0.22 per share is payable on July 1, 2016 to shareholders of record as of June 20, 2016. The July 1 dividend payment will be H&R Block.
Sand Canyon Corporation (SCC), a separate legal entity from H&R Block, Inc., continued to engage in constructive settlement discussions with counterparties that have made a significant majority of previously denied and possible future representation and warranty claims.
SCC’s accrual for contingent losses related to representation and warranty claims was $65 million at April 30, 2016.
Discussion of the fiscal 2016 results, future outlook and a general business update will occur during the company’s previously announced fiscal fourth quarter earnings conference call for analysts, institutional investors, and shareholders. The call is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on June 9, 2016. To access the call, please dial the number below approximately 10 minutes prior to the scheduled starting time:
U.S./Canada (888) 895-5260 or International (443) 842-7595
Conference ID: 80848967
The call will also be webcast in a listen-only format for the media and public. The link to the webcast can be accessed directly at https://investors.hrblock.com.
A replay of the call will be available beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on June 9, 2016, and continuing until July 9, 2016, by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S./Canada) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID is 80848967. The webcast will be available for replay June 10, 2016 at https://investors.hrblock.com.
About H&R Block
H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) is the world’s largest consumer tax services provider. More than 700 million tax returns have been prepared worldwide by and through H&R Block since 1955. In fiscal 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3.0 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide. 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. H&R Block also offers adjacent Tax Plus products and services. 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.”
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,” “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, income, earnings per share, cost savings, capital expenditures, dividends, share repurchases, liquidity, capital structure 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, 2015 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 https://investors.hrblock.com. 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.
H&R Block declared a quarterly cash dividend of 26 cents per share, payable January 2, 2020, to shareholders of record as of December 9, 2019.
H&R Block released its U.S. tax return volume through Feb. 28, 2019 and financial results for the fiscal 2019 third quarter ended Jan. 31, 2019.
H&R Block's preliminary U.S. tax results reflect an increase in overall tax return volume of 1.5 percent to 20.2 million.
H&R Block will report fiscal 2020 second quarter results on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 after the New York Stock Exchange market close.