WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - H&R Block Inc. (HRB), the largest US tax preparer, on Tuesday reported a wider second quarter loss than analysts estimated, as revenue declined 2%.
The company's quarterly revenue also came in below analysts' expectations.
'I'm pleased with the initiatives we have in place for the upcoming tax season and am confident that we are well positioned to again deliver strong results this year,' said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer.
H&R Block shares are currently losing 0.9% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $28.80, down 22 cents. the shares trade in a 52-week range of $18.16 to $32.09.
The company has cut jobs and closed underperforming offices while trying to recapture market share from TurboTax software maker Intuit Inc. (INTU). The company has also increased spending on marketing and offered free services to woo clients.
In July, H&R Block reached a deal to sell its banking business, H&R Block Bank, to Republic Bank & Trust Co. In September, the company said it might not be able to complete the deal this year because of delay in obtaining all regulatory approvals. The company said Tuesday that it has made progress in the process of divesting its bank.
For the second quarter ended October 31, 2013, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company reported a net loss of $104.9 million or $0.39 per share, compared to a net loss of $105.2 million or $0.39 per share for the year-ago quarter.
Loss from continuing operations for the second quarter was $103.0 million or $0.38 per share, compared to a loss from continuing operations of $101.2 million or $0.37 per share in the prior year quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted loss from continuing operations for the second quarter was $112.3 million or $0.42 per share, compared to an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $99.8 million or $0.37 per share in the second quarter of last year.
On average, 9 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.37 per share for the second quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
The company typically reports a second quarter operating loss due to the seasonality of its core U.S. tax business.
Total revenue for the second quarter fell 2% to $134.34 million from $137.26 million in the same quarter last year. Four analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $137.85 million for the second quarter.
Tax services revenues for the quarter fell 1.4% to $128 million, mainly due to timing differences in the company's Australian operations, partially offset by increased Emerald Card fee revenue from increased year-round usage.
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