Shares of tax prep company H&R Block (HRB) - Get H&R Block, Inc. (HRB) Report were falling after hours Tuesday after the company reported light fiscal third-quarter revenue that was negatively impacted by a delayed start to the U.S. tax season.
The Kansas City company reported a quarterly net loss of $1.17 per share on revenue of $308 million. Analysts were expecting a loss of $1.29 per share on revenue of $341 million, according to FactSet.
“Despite seeing a delay to the start of the tax season, we’re well positioned to finish the fiscal year strong and to continue on our path toward long-term sustainable growth," CEO Jeff Jones said.
The delay and the accompanying later-than-usual opening of the IRS e-file portal resulted in a 41%, or $211 million, decline in revenue year-over-year, according to the company. That decline was partially offset by an increase in small business payments processing and payroll volume at the company's Wave subsidiary.
"We're on target to deliver our financial outlook for the year," said Tony Bowen, H&R Block's chief financial officer. "This will drive strong free cash flow and significant return of capital to our shareholders through dividends and share repurchases."
As previously announced, H&R Block will pay its quarterly cash dividend of 26 cents per share on April 1 to shareholders of record as of March 16.
The company said it was able to cut operating expenses by $100 million, or 15% year- over-year, although pretax losses increased by $106 million to $284 million.
The fiscal fourth quarter is H&R Block's big sales period with analysts expecting revenue of $2.43 billion.
H&R Block shares were falling 1.1% to $19.54 after hours Tuesday.