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4 Biggest Earnings Reports You Must Watch Next Week

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- For the week of September 3, you can expect about 50 companies will report earnings. As usual, the services and technology sectors make up the lion's share of volume.

I selected companies with the greatest market-moving impact that you will want to watch. September and October have traditionally displayed higher-than-average volatility and earnings can often light the fuse.

HRB Chart HRB data by YCharts

H&R Block (HRB - Get Report)

52-Week High: $17.46

52-Week Low: $12.73

Book Value: $4.54

Price-To-Book: 3.66

H&R Block is anticipated to report good first-quarter earnings after the market closes on Sept. 5, 2012. The consensus estimate is currently a loss of 37 cents a share, an improvement of sorts from the loss of 39 cents during the same period a year ago. The average analyst target price for HRB is $18.50.

From a technical perspective, the chart on HRB looks a lot better than the quarter's estimate. The tax preparer is expected to earn $1.62 this year ending in April 2013. H&R is somewhat trending higher. The 60- and 200-day moving averages are moving higher. The 90-day is rounding out, but still well below the 200. What this means is the trend is neutral and akin to a boat without a rudder.

The mean fiscal-year estimate price-to-earnings ratio is 10.3, based on earnings of $1.61 per share.

Investors are receiving 80 cents in dividends for a yield of 4.83%. Over the last five years, the dividend has grown by an average of 5.7% per year. For yield hounds, H&R's dividend is attractive, but the payout rate near 80% along with slowing revenue growth means future hike expectations may not be realized. Of course, at 4.8% you could say "who cares if they increase."

The current proportion sold short, based on the float, is 6.9%. With the dividend yield as high as it is, short sellers are expecting a sizable drop in share price.

Background: H&R Block is a tax-return preparation company. The company's subsidiaries also offer investment services and through broker-dealers, originate, purchase, service, sell and securitize mortgages, offer personal productivity software, purchase participation interests in refund anticipation loans made by a third-party lender, and offer accounting, tax and consulting services to business clients. H&R Block trades about 3 million shares per day with a marketcap of $4.5 billion.

For more about H&R Block, take a look at John Reese's Opt to Get Paid article on Real Money. He describes why he likes H&R, and how he compares this stock to other high-yield stocks.

HRB Earnings Per Share Chart HRB Earnings Per Share data by YCharts
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