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Jackson Hewitt Boosts Wal-Mart Presence

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Jackson Hewitt Tax Services (JTX) plans to operate in more than 2,000 Wal-Mart Stores (WMT - Get Report)locations in the coming tax season, expanding its presence by roughly 10% from last year's level.

"Across our system, franchisees and company-owned operations managers are energized and prepared to begin setting up Jackson Hewitt kiosks in Walmart stores beginning next week in anticipation of the opening of the tax season," said Harry Buckley, the company's president and CEO, in a press release.

"As we move forward in the second year of our exclusive national arrangement with Walmart, our relationship is stronger than ever," Buckley continued.

The Parsippany, N.J.-based provider of tax preparation services, which has both franchised and company-owned locations, said it operated in around 1,800 Wal-Mart locations last year.

The stock closed Thursday's regular session at $2.27, down a penny. Year-to-date, the shares have fallen roughly 48%, although they scraped a near-term low of 75 cents as recently as Nov. 24. The stock made a strong move higher this past Monday, surging 55 cents, or more than 30%, to close at $2.30 on volume of 6.6 million. The volatile issue's trailing three-month daily average volume sits at 1.1 million.

Of the four analysts covering the stock, three rate it as a hold and one says sell. The company is typically profitable in its fiscal third and fourth quarters ending in January and April respectively. The current average estimates of the analysts polled by Thomson Reuters are for earnings of 32 cents a share on revenue of $76.5 million in the current third quarter and earnings of 99 cents a share on revenue of $122.1 million in the fourth quarter.

In last year's equivalent periods, Jackson Hewitt earned 46 cents a share on revenue of $79.1 million in the January-ended quarter and posted a profit of $1.14 a share on revenue of $125.6 million in the April-ended quarter.

Jackson Hewitt reported its fiscal second-quarter results on Dec. 10, coming in with a narrower than expected loss of $19 million, or 66 cents a share.

-- Written by Michael Baron in New York.

>To contact the writer of this article, click here: Michael Baron.

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Disclosure: TheStreet's editorial policy prohibits staff editors, reporters and analysts from holding positions in any individual stocks.

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