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H&R Block Management Discusses Q1 2013 Results - Earnings Call Transcript

Before we begin our prepared remarks, I'd like to remind everyone that this call will include forward-looking statements as defined under the securities laws. Such statements are based on current information and management's expectations as of this date and are not guarantees of future performance. Forward-looking statements involve certain risks, uncertainties and assumptions that are difficult to predict. And as a result, our actual outcomes and results could differ materially.

You can learn more about these risks in our Form 10-K for fiscal 2012 and our other SEC filings. H&R Block undertakes no obligation to publicly update these risk factors or forward-looking statements.

With that, I'll now turn the call over to Bill.

William C. Cobb

Thank you, Derek, and thanks to everyone for joining us on the call. I hope all of you had a great Labor Day weekend.

During the second half of fiscal 2012, we completed a thorough review of our organization and made some very difficult decisions to reduce our cost structure and to drive efficiency. While our off-season results typically don't offer a lot of insight into our performance for the year given the seasonality of our business and that most of our revenues and earnings are generated in our fiscal fourth quarter, I'm pleased by the impact our cost-reduction initiatives have had to date.

On an adjusted basis, our net loss from continuing operations improved by 6% to $105 million, primarily due to reduced operating costs. Greg will take you through our results later on the call, but this quarter's key takeaway is that we continue to believe our cost-reduction initiatives will add $85 million to $100 million of pretax earnings in fiscal 2013, leading to earnings and margin expansion.

In addition to these initiatives, we've had several recent and positive developments. First, several weeks ago, we announced a new $1.5 billion 5-year committed line of credit agreement. The new agreement provides us significant financial flexibility and more closely aligns to our business needs. The prior agreements' net worth covenant and clean down requirements have been replaced in the new agreement with leverage and interest coverage tests, which better align with a consumer services company like ours.

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