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H&R Block Announces Fiscal 2017 First Quarter Result

8 min read

8 min read

August 30, 2016

H&R Block, Inc. (NYSE: HRB) today released its financial results for the fiscal 2017 first quarter ended July 31, 2016. The company normally reports a first quarter operating loss due to the seasonality of its tax business. The fiscal first quarter typically represents less than 5% of annual revenues and less than 15% of annual expenses.

“Because of the highly seasonal nature of our business, the fiscal first quarter is not indicative of our full year results. That said, all of the company’s efforts remain laser-focused on executing a successful tax season,” said Bill Cobb, H&R Block’s president and chief executive officer. “We will have compelling client offers and improvements to the client experience. I’m truly looking forward to the next tax season and demonstrating our ability to deliver strong results for the fiscal year.”

First Quarter Financial Summary1

  • Fiscal first quarter financial results were largely in line with the company’s expectations as revenues and net loss were impacted by the divestiture of H&R Block Bank (the “Bank”) and changes to the company’s capital structure in fiscal 2016
  • Total operating expenses declined due to cost reduction efforts partially offset by increased occupancy and amortization expenses related to franchise acquisitions in the prior year

The divestiture of the Bank had the largest impact on overall revenues, which decreased $12.5 million to $125.2 million. The Bank impact included payments to the company’s third-party bank partner, the reclassification of certain revenue as other income, and lower investment income due to the sale of securities previously held by the Bank. Additionally, lower client volumes in the U.S. and foreign currency exchange rates contributed to the decline.

Total operating expenses declined 0.6% to the prior year. Savings resulting from the company’s cost reduction efforts were partially offset by the impact of acquisitions of franchises in the prior year. In addition to operating expenses, interest expense increased $12.9 million due to the issuance of $1 billion of long term debt in September 2015.

“We are on target to execute our cost reduction plans. While expenses are down slightly this quarter, the majority of our planned reductions will occur after the first quarter,” said Tony Bowen, H&R Block’s chief financial officer. “These planned savings will enable us to continue to ensure strong free cash flow while also allowing us to make the appropriate investments to achieve our operational objectives for the upcoming tax season.”

Fiscal 2017 First Quarter Results From Continuing Operations

Income Statement

  • Total revenues decreased $12.5 million to $125.2 million due primarily to impacts from the divestiture of the Bank. This included the change in presentation of mortgage portfolio interest income from revenue to other income, the loss of available-for-sale securities investment income, and payments made to the company’s third-party bank partner. Additionally, lower return volumes in the company’s U.S. assisted tax business and currency exchange rates in its international business contributed to the decline.
  • Total operating expenses decreased $1.8 million to $309.9 million due to cost reduction efforts partially offset by increased occupancy and amortization expense related to franchise acquisitions in the prior year.
  • Interest expense increased $12.9 million to $21.5 million due to $1 billion of long-term debt issued in September 2015.
  • Pretax loss increased $16.4 million to $203.5 million driven primarily by increased interest expense and changes related to the divestiture of the Bank.
  • Loss per share from continuing operations increased $0.20 to $0.55. Approximately half of the increase was due to the reduction in share count, which will be accretive on a full year basis, but negatively impacts those quarters with a net loss. The remainder of the change in loss per share was due to the increase in pretax loss.

Balance Sheet

  • Cash balances decreased from July 31, 2015 due to the divestiture of the Bank and capital structure changes in fiscal 2016, including share repurchases totaling approximately $2.0 billion since July 31, 2015.
  • Long-term debt increased $1 billion from July 31, 2015 due to the issuance of $650 million of 4.125% Senior Notes and $350 million of 5.250% Senior Notes during the second quarter of fiscal 2016.
  • Stockholders’ equity from July 31, 2015 was impacted by the aforementioned share repurchase and subsequent retirement of 58.4 million shares of common stock for approximately $2.0 billion.
  • Details regarding the divestiture of H&R Block Bank and related agreements, capital structure transactions and share repurchase program can be found in previously filed press releases, and Forms 8-K filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, in September and October of 2015.

Discontinued Operations

The accrual for contingent losses related to representation and warranty claims at Sand Canyon Corporation, a separate legal entity from H&R Block, Inc., decreased $40 million from the prior quarter to $26 million as a result of a settlement with a counterparty. The settlement was fully covered by existing accruals.

Share Repurchases and Dividends

During the first quarter of fiscal 2017, the company repurchased and retired approximately 2.0 million shares at an aggregate price of $48.6 million, or $23.84 per share. As of July 31, 2016, 219.1 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, which runs through June 2019. Under this program, the company has repurchased approximately 58.4 million shares of its common stock, or 21.1% of outstanding shares, for an aggregate purchase price of approximately $2.0 billion.

As previously announced, a quarterly cash dividend of 22 cents per share is payable on October 3, 2016 to shareholders of record as of September 14, 2016. H&R Block has paid quarterly dividends consecutively since the company went public in 1962.

Conference Call

Discussion of the fiscal 2017 first quarter results, future outlook and a general business update will occur during the company’s previously announced fiscal first quarter earnings conference call for analysts, institutional investors, and shareholders. The call is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Eastern time on August 30, 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: 45100808

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 http://investors.hrblock.com.

A replay of the call will be available beginning at 7:30 p.m. Eastern time on August 30, 2016, and continuing until September 30, 2016, by dialing (855) 859-2056 (U.S./Canada) or (404) 537-3406 (International). The conference ID is 45100808. The webcast will be available for replay August 31, 2016 at https://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 2016, H&R Block had annual revenues of over $3 billion with 23.2 million tax returns prepared worldwide.For more information, visit the H&R Block Newsroom at https://www.hrblock.com/tax-center/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,” “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, 2016 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. 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.

1 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 The company reports adjusted financial performance, and other non-GAAP financial measures, which it believes are a better indication of the company’s core operations. See “About Non-GAAP Financial Information” below for more information regarding financial measures not prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP).

4 See the company’s most recent Forms 10-K and 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for more information regarding Sand Canyon Corporation and related loss contingencies.