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H&R Block Raises Dividend, Shifts Fiscal Year

Tax prep company reports better-than-expected results for latest quarter.
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H&R Block, Inc.  (HRB) - Get H&R Block Inc. Report reported  fiscal fourth-quarter revenue and earnings ahead of expectations, raised its dividend and said it is changing its fiscal year to end June 30 to better reflect complete tax seasons.

The tax preparation services company reported adjusted diluted earnings per share of $5.16 on revenue of $2.33 billion for the three months ended April 30.

The company had been expected to report earnings of $5.06 a share, on sales of $2.3 billion, based on a FactSet survey of 8 analysts.

In the same period a year ago, the company posted earnings of $3.01 a share on sales of $1.8 billion.

H&R Block said its quarterly results were affected by the extension of the Federal tax filing deadline to May 17 this year from the customary April 15 date. The IRS announced the extension in March “to help taxpayers navigate the unusual circumstances related to the pandemic,” the agency said at the time.

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H&R Block said in a statement that “Including performance through May 18, 2021, in fiscal 2021, would result in the Company substantially exceeding its original revenue and earnings outlook for 2021.”

The company said it is changing its fiscal year-end from April 30 to June 30, effective immediately. The move “allows for better alignment of complete tax seasons in comparable fiscal periods and other related benefits,” according to the statement. It will file a transition report with the SEC for the period of May 1 through June 30 later this summer.

H&R Block’s board raised the company’s quarterly dividend by 4% to 27 cents a share, payable July 1 to shareholders of record as of June 25.

Shares of H&R Block fell 26 cents, or 1%, to $25 in after-hours trading. The stock fell 1% in the regular session.

The stock had risen 29% since the company last reported its financial results on March 9.

H&R Block’s last earnings report in March came as the tax filing season was extended due to the Covid 19 pandemic.