WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) , the largest U.S. tax preparer, said Wednesday after the markets closed that its third quarter loss narrowed sharply from last year, as revenue surged due to an earlier opening of the Internal Revenue Service's e-file system this tax season.
The company's quarterly loss per share also smaller than analysts estimated, but its quarterly revenue fell short of analysts' forecast.
'Despite being disappointed by the decline in early season volume, we are pleased with our monetization, overall return mix, and Tax Plus product attach rates through both our assisted channel and digital do-it-yourself products,' said Bill Cobb, H&R Block's president and chief executive officer.
H&R Block shares are currently losing 1.20% in after hours trading after closing the day's regular trading session at $33.42, down 29 cents. The shares trade in a 52-week range of $26.92 to $35.80.
H&R Block typically reports a third quarter operating loss due to the seasonality of its core U.S. tax business. A majority of the company's revenues and all of its fiscal 2015 earnings will occur during its fiscal fourth quarter, the company noted.
For the fiscal 2015 third quarter ended January 31, 2015, the Kansas City, Missouri-based company reported a net loss of $36.9 million or $0.13 per share, compared to a net loss of $214.7 million or $0.78 per share for the year-ago quarter.
Excluding items, adjusted loss from continuing operations for the third quarter was $35.3 million or $0.13 per share, compared to an adjusted loss from continuing operations of $212.8 million or $0.78 per share in the prior year quarter.
On average, 7 analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected the company to report a loss of $0.17 per share for the third quarter. Analysts' estimates typically exclude special items.
Total revenue for the third quarter jumped 155% to $509.07 million from $199.77 million in the same quarter last year. Four analysts had a consensus revenue estimate of $517.70 million for the third quarter.
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