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H&R Block


, the company best-known for its tax-preparation services, posted a profit in the fiscal first quarter thanks to cost controls and strength in its mortgage and investment services segments.

The company earned $10.6 million, or 6 cents a share, in the first quarter, compared with a loss of $9.5 million, or 5 cents a share, last year. Revenue increased 14.7% to $494.8 million.

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H&R Block has historically reported a loss in the fiscal first quarter because of the seasonal nature of its tax division.

"Our first-quarter results show the strength we have in our mix of businesses," the company said in a press release. "Our fiscal year is off to a solid start. We're on track with our plans to meet our growth objectives this year."

The mortgage segment had first-quarter revenue of $302.9 million, up 21% from a year ago. H&R Block's U.S. tax operations reported first-quarter revenue of $29.7 million, a 27.4% increase from last year.

Analysts polled by Thomson First Call expected the company to earn 1 cent a share in the quarter. H&R Block closed in

New York Stock Exchange

trading at $41.74.